Human rights activist Andy Hall will soon find out if he faces time in prison for reporting on labour rights abuses in the Thai pineapple industry. In 2013 a report including some of his research was published which included allegations of worker abuse and slavery-like practices in the Natural Fruit factory, a Thai company that processes pineapples and supplies retailers around the world.
Instead of looking into the allegations, Natural Fruit targeted Andy. He was hauled into court on charges of computer crime and criminal defamation.
Despite an international outcry, Natural Fruit have not backed down.2 We now need to call on the Thai government to do the right thing and ensure that all charges against Andy Hall are dropped.
The Thai 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.