Press Release: Labour MEP calls for EU action to help local human rights campaigner Andy Hall in Thailand

Press Release
From the office of Glenis Willmott MEP
Labour MEP calls for EU action to help local human rights campaigner Andy Hall in Thailand

Contact: Elspeth Hathaway elspethjane.hathaway@europarl.europa.eu<mailto:elspethjane.hathaway@europarl.europa.eu> T: (+32 228) 37459
07/10/2015
For immediate release

Labour MEP calls for EU action to help local human rights campaigner

Glenis Willmott, Labour MEP for the East Midlands, has been campaigning with the TUC for EU action to support the plight of a local human rights campaigner.

Andy Hall has fought to protect human rights in South East Asia for the past 10 years and is currently facing four separate charges for highlighting the abuse of migrant workers in Thailand. The next court case takes place on the 19th October and Andy faces seven years in prison and fines of millions of pounds.

East Midlands MEP, Glenis Willmott, said:

“Andy’s parents, Des and Pat are based in Lincolnshire and approached me approached me via the TUC, as their local MEP. I was shocked to learn that Andy had such outrageous charges brought against him by a Thai company for simply undertaking research that showed abuses of their workers’ rights.

“I have written to the EU High Representative and have demanded to know what the EU is doing to protect Andy and to ensure that the trial is held in accordance with international human rights conventions.

“We also managed to secure a debate in the European Parliament today, where we were able to raise Andy Hall’s plight. I hope that the Thai Authorities will listen and will end this circus that Andy has been subjected to.”

Andy Hall said:

“I have been subjected to unjust and unfair judicial harassment over the past few years. The Thai authorities are limiting freedom of expression. This is unacceptable when it comes to reporting on abuses of worker rights.

“But for me, such harassment as this, only strengthens my resolve to continue to fight for migrant worker rights in Thailand. I didn’t support migrants to fight for justice for a decade in Thailand only to then myself back down when under threat.”

TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said:

“We’re campaigning with Andy Hall against the judicial harassment he faces not just because he’s British, but because he’s defending migrant workers in desperate straits: we all should.

“It’s vitally important that the European Parliament draws attention to the exploitation infecting the supply chains that stock our shops, and defends those who are campaigning for justice for migrant workers, wherever they are.”

ENDS

Notes to editor:

Background
Andy’s research in one pineapple processing plant uncovered significant abuses of Burmese migrant workers’ rights: withheld passports, unpaid wages, long working hours and health and safety breaches, as well as child labour. Management refused to respond when these findings were put to them, waiting until the research was published by a Finnish human rights organisation before launching a series of legal cases and threatening witnesses.”

Useful documents

1. Parliamentary written question:http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do…

2. Andy Hall’s website documenting his plight: https://andyjhall.wordpress.com/


2. Andy Hall’s website documenting his plight:https://andyjhall.wordpress.com/

http://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-politics-34447077

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