Frontline Defenders Statement (2nd Oct 2013) Deep concern at police conduct and additional lawsuits filed against human rights defender Andy Hall

Thailand: Update – Additional complaint filed against human rights defender Andy Hall

Andy Hall presenting the Finn Watch report.

On the evening of 28 September 2013, human rights defender and migrant rights activist Mr Andy Hall went to Bangkok’s Bang Na Police Station to hear an additional complaint lodged against him by Natural Fruit Company Limited. Andy Hall is a human rights defender working to defend migrant workers’ rights in Thailand. According to the document prepared by the Bang Na police station and seen by Front Line Defenders, Natural Fruit Company filed a complaint with the police accusing the human rights defender of broadcasting false information against the company. The company made reference to a video hosted on YouTube entitled “Migrants work in poor conditions in Thailand”, which features Andy Hall’s research and interviews regarding alleged labour rights violations committed against Burmese migrant workers in the Natural Fruit Company’s factory. Two separate complaints had earlier been filed against the human rights defender in February 2013, for more information please see the original urgent appeal dated 26 February 2013. According to Thai law, upon receipt of a complaint the police must draft a document which will be signed by the defendant as an acknowledgement of the complaint filed against him/her, the identity of the complainant as well as the grounds on which the complaint is based. Front Line Defenders is very concerned that the document prepared by Police Lieutenant Boonrlai Chaitip, Investigating officer at the Bang Na police station – seen by Front Line Defenders – contained a clause stating that the defendant confessed committing the acts described therein. Andy Hall is English-speaker, the document was drafted in Thai and the police did not provide a translator to the human rights defender. Front Line Defenders expresses deep concern at the police conduct and lawsuits filed against human rights defender Andy Hall, and believes them to be solely motivated by his work as a prominent migrant rights defender in Thailand.

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