The legal team representing British human rights defender Andy Hall has submitted an appeal to the Bangkok South Criminal Court in Thailand against his conviction last year on criminal defamation and Computer Crimes Act charges.
The conviction related to publication of a report Cheap Has a High Price in 2013 by Finnwatch, a Finnish civil society organisation.
The report outlined allegations of serious human rights violations at Natural Fruit Co. Ltd.’s pineapple processing plant in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province in Thailand.
Finding Andy Hall guilty of all charges on Sept. 20, 2016, the Bangkok South Criminal Court sentenced him to three years in prison, suspended by two years, and fined him 150,000 baht (US$4,300).
Following immediate payment of the fine jointly by the Thai Tuna Industry Association (TTIA), Thai Union Group and Finnwatch, Andy Hall was released from detention.
The Court’s decision met with international criticism including statements of concern from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and, on Oct 6., a strongly worded European Parliament resolution was passed.
“Finnwatch is grateful for all the international attention and ongoing support for Andy,” Finnwatch executive director Sonja Vartiala said.
“The widespread concern expressed regarding his conviction and recognition of the importance of his work by many international actors represents a glimmer of hope to others who seek to improve working and living conditions of migrant workers in Thailand, but who do so in deteriorating conditions amidst fears of possible negative repercussions.”