Question for written answer E-005928/2014
to the Commission (Vice-President / High Representative)
Charles Tannock (ECR)
Subject:VP/HR – The case of Andrew Hall in Thailand
In January 2013 the NGO Finnwatch published a report entitled ‘Cheap Has a High Price’. This report documented alleged exploitation of migrant workers by the National Fruit Company in Thailand and made other claims of human rights abuses. Since the publication of the report, its chief author, British citizen Andrew Hall, is being sued for defamation by the company in question. He is being charged under Sections 90, 91, 236, 328 and 332 of the Thai Criminal Code, with Sections 3 and 4 of the Computer Crimes Act of 2007 also being invoked. If found guilty, Mr Hall could face up to 7 years in prison and fines in excess of USD 10 million.
Earlier last month, Mr Hall travelled to Thailand to face the charges. After pleading not guilty, he was detained before being released on bail. As part of the conditions for bail, Mr Hall’s passport has been confiscated and he is thus unable to leave the country for his usual residence in Myanmar.
1.Is the High Representative aware of this particular case, and if so have any representations been made to the Thai authorities or their representatives in Brussels?
2.In the eventuality of a guilty verdict, will the EEAS seek to assist in obtaining an appeal or a royal pardon?