Andy Hall finally acquitted of criminal defamation in Thailand

July 9, 2020

This case has dragged on [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/andy-hall/] but has finally come to a good end thanks to strong international pressure. The Supreme Court’s decision on June 30, 2020 to acquit Andy Hall for criminal defamation and computer crimes offenses was welcome news, finally bringing an end to a seven-year legal battle that represented just how far some companies are willing to go to silence activists who expose modern slavery.

Hall’s case even attracted the attention of UN human rights experts, who criticized the lawsuits brought against him, saying that they were an example of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs). SLAPPs related to defamation have been increasingly used in recent years in Thailand by companies linked to forced labor and labor rights violations as a means to silence critics. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/06/08/defending-defenders-challenging-malicious-lawsuits-in-southeast-asia/]

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Andy Hall said: “I welcome today’s final ruling in this case. But after years of ongoing judicial harassment that has taken a heavy toll on me, my family and my colleagues, the verdict does not feel like a victory. My activism for over a decade in Thailand was intended only to promote and uphold the fundamental rights of millions of migrant workers in the country.

These workers continue to find themselves without a voice in high risk situations of forced labor and subject to systemic human and labor rights violations in global supply chains. I remain open to reconciliation to put an end once and for all to this continued irrational cycle of litigation against me and my colleagues that remain in Thailand.

https://www.freedomunited.org/our-impact/drop-the-charges-against-andy-hall-now/?trk_msg=LQOEF4L1AQI4V652RVLH5UQ0CS&trk_contact=T46EA44M5JFSJ08T6GG4H5M16S&trk_sid=EU95E36VVONCSO7PCAVA00BB90&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Read+the+field+report&utm_campaign=FU-EN-8JULY-ANDY-HALL-WIN-prospect&utm_content=FU-EN-8JULY-ANDY-HALL-WIN-prospect

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