Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps HM Embassy in Bangkok is taking to retrieve the passport of Andy Hall.
Mr Swire: If Mr Hall needs to use his passport to travel overseas it is possible for him/his lawyer to apply to the court for “international bail” which, if agreed, would enable Mr Hall’s lawyer to retrieve his passport for him to use, subject to any conditions that the court might set. If Mr Hall does not wish to apply for international bail and wishes to apply for a replacement passport instead, we must first of all make a formal request to the court for the return of his original passport. If we do not receive Mr Hall’s passport, or a response from the authorities, within 10 days, we would discuss with Mr Hall his options for obtaining a replacement passport. However, an approach by the embassy to the court in this way might result in Mr Hall’s bail being revoked. If Mr Hall asked us to do this, we would request that he sign a pro-forma acknowledging that the consequences of applying for a new passport have been explained to him. We have also asked Mr Hall to bear in mind that the courts may have placed some sort of immigration stop/block against his name/passport number (or might do so upon receipt of a letter from the embassy asking for the return of his passport), and so even if Mr Hall did get his current passport back, or obtain a new passport, he may not be able to leave Thailand on it. Mr Hall has also been advised to consult his lawyer about these issues.
The British Embassy, Bangkok is noted as being one of the least efficient of all countries where Britain has representation. In fact, as many people say, it is more of a hindrance than a help. Andy has been badly let down by the Embassy on previous occasions, but now has the backing of Australian and Finnish embassies, International Labour Organisations, countless human rights bodies, and the acceptance by Thailand that it has a case of criminal defamation under the hideous Computer Crimes Act just goes to show that Andy is being persecuted for doing his job. Criminal defamation in Thailand is pure and simply a euphemism for the Thai way of saving face. The case has brought world wide interest, but where are the bigwigs from the British Government that one would expect to see in a case of such importance. Shame on them.
Thailand is a racism state. The chicken farm alike regime.
Don’t get involve. Leave the racism state.
Don’t visit or investment.
Don’t sell or buy or collect Thai products.
And don’t leave us alone. We need help.