International Campaign for Freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma
Saturday, August 22, 2015
8 years in jail for exposing exploitation of workers!
Andy Hall is a researcher who defends the rights of migrants in Thailand, including migrants from Burma.
On Monday he will be in a court in Thailand, because a Thai company wants to stop him revealing exploitation of their factory workers. If this company succeeds in their cases against him, he could end up spending 8 years in jail and facing an 8 million pound fine.
In 2013 he was involved in exposing how a factory in Thailand was committing human rights abuses against migrant workers in its factory. Abuses included child labour, workers being beaten, being paid illegally low wages and facing dangerous working conditions.
Instead of the company, Natural Fruit, taking action to stop these abuses, it has launched several legal cases for defamation and computer crimes against Andy Hall. If convicted, he could face more than eight years in jail and a fine of more than eight million pounds.
The government of Thailand should be enforcing the law to stop abuses like this. They should be telling Natural Fruit to drop these cases and clean up its act. Instead they have been supporting the prosecution, appealing against a court decision to dismiss one of the cases.
These cases are an attack on free speech, and threaten work to improve the rights of migrant workers in Thailand, millions of whom are from Burma.