British activist hit with Bt10 million defamation judgment in Thai court

An appeals court in Thailand has upheld a 10 million baht ($313,000) judgment against a British activist who was sued by a fruit canning company whose workers complained of alleged labour abuses.

Bangkok’s Prakanong Court on Wednesday rejected the appeal of Andy Hall of his March 2018 civil defamation conviction ordering him to pay damages to Natural Fruit Co. Ltd., a Thai pineapple company.

The case was one of several stemming from a 2013 report Hall researched for Finnish consumer organization Finnwatch that included allegations by migrant workers from Myanmar at Natural Fruit’s canning operation that the company abused them and broke labour regulations.

Another appeals court last year dismissed a criminal defamation suit against Hall for the same affair, accepting that the allegations should be made public.