Dear "el dispreciau",
In just 4 days activist Andy Hall will find out if he faces time in prison for reporting on labour rights abuses in the Thai pineapple industry.
Andy Hall has been trapped in a nightmare for the last two years. In 2013 a report including some of his research was published which included allegations of worker abuse and slavery-like practices in the supply chain of Natural Fruit, 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. On Monday 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.
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."1
The Walk Free community and many other organisations around the world have been keeping up the pressure on Natural Fruit to drop the charges for months -- we’ve shone a spotlight on Andy’s unacceptable treatment and in October last year one of the charges against him was dropped.
But Natural Fruit have shown no signs of giving up. That’s 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.2
Show your support for Andy and migrant workers that remain vulnerable to modern slavery in Thailand: take action to demand that these charges are dropped NOW.
With hope and determination,
Zoe, Leena, Jayde, Alex and all of the Walk Free team
P.S. We considered not sending this message because of the awful bombing in Bangkok just a few days ago -- our hearts go out to everyone affected by those horrific events. However, Andy's case is at a critical turning point and we can't stand by while activists like him are facing prison time in Thailand. It’s vital that we continue to show that we can’t be silenced and that we stand in solidarity with Andy and migrant workers in Thailand who must be able to speak out when they suffer abusive conditions.