Thai Court Finds British Labor Activist Defamed Fruit Firm

Supporters give flowers to British human rights activist Andy Hall in 2016 at the Supreme Court in Bangkok. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / Associated Press

BANGKOK — A court in the Thai capital has ordered a British labor rights activist to pay 10 million baht (USD$321,000) in damages to a company that filed a civil defamation suit after he helped expose alleged human rights violations at its factory.

The Monday ruling against Andy Hall was just the latest development involving one of four defamation suits filed by pineapple canning company Natural Fruit, which employed migrant Myanmar workers who claimed the company had broken labor regulations in abusing them.

Hall has prevailed in one of the two criminal defamation suits against him, while the other is pending, as is another civil suit. He has also filed a countersuit against Natural Fruit.

Hall left Thailand in 2016, citing intolerable legal harassment after another company sued him.