Thailand: Oppose defamation charges against human rights defenders for exposing labour abuses
Amnesty International calls on the Thai authorities to oppose defamation and other charges, and the court to dismiss the case brought by Thammakaset Company Limited against two human rights defenders and activists who stood trial at the Ratchada Criminal Court from 18 to 21 February 2020. The company has brought a slew of lawsuits targeting a broad range of defendants—including the company’s former employees, activists, human rights defenders, an academic and a journalist—which appear to be in retaliation for their reporting and comments on labour abuses at the company’s chicken farms, and amount to harassment through the courts. The Thai government must guarantee the protection of individuals who exercise their right to freedom of expression, while creating an enabling environment in which activists and journalists can continue human rights work without reprisals and harassment. In addition, the organization urges the government to decriminalize defamation, in line with recommendations by UN human rights bodies.