Activist Andy Hall Vs. Natural Fruit: Hall could be sentenced to seven years in jail for revealing the truth
Aug 22, Bangkok: Human Right activist Andy Hall who was taken into custody on false charges by Thai authorities two years ago could face up to 7 years imprisonment and $11 million in damages after being indicted for computer crime and criminal defamation.
The activist who had been arrested on charges of computer cries was taken into custody right after publishing a report which revealed abuse and slave like treatment of workers by Natural Fruit a Thai food Giant which supplies processed pineapple across the World.
According to reports, instead of looking into the allegations, Natural Fruit targeted Hall. “He was hauled into court on charges of computer crime and criminal defamation. On Today Andy will find out if he will be indicted: if he is, he faces 7 years in prison and more than $11 million in damages,” a statement issued by Walkfree.org team stated.
We don’t need to tell you how unjust this is. In Andy’s own words: “This is about persecution. It’s a political case to try and silence me… I’m someone that’s revealing things that the government and the industry don’t want me to reveal.”
Despite constant pressure on the Thai authorities and food giant to drop the charges on Hall, the company has not stepped down and continues to press on, “this is why we now need to turn our attention to the Thai government. The authorities are already facing global scrutiny for not doing enough to protect workers from abuse — the latest US Trafficking in Persons report gives Thailand the lowest score for action to tackle trafficking,”
In 2013 The FinnWatch report by Andy Hall, ” Cheap has a high price: Responsibility problems relating to international private label products and food production in Thailand,”investigated the production of food sourced from Thailand and sold in Finland, was published
The report which was based on field research and interviews collected in November 2012 from employees of the company’s Prachaub Kirikhan factory, revealed that Natural Fruit Company Limited had committed serious labor rights abuses, including poor working conditions, unlawfully low wages, confiscation of workers’ official documents, use of child labor, and excessive overtime.
Once the report had been published Hall was taken into custody on charges of computer crime and computer crimes and criminal defamation brought by Natural Fruit Company Ltd.
The Thai authorities had hauled him in jail even before investigating the abuse of labor by the food giant Natural Fruit.
The Oslo Times