BANGKOK, (Pakistan Point News - APP -20th Sept,2016) - A British activist was found guilty of criminal defamation and breaching Thailand's strict computer laws and given a three-year suspended jail sentence, his lawyer said Tuesday, over a report on labour abuses in the kingdom's lucrative fruit sector. Andy Hall, who lives in Thailand, has faced a cascade of legal actions for co-authoring a 2013 report on a Natural Fruit factory in the south of the country, alleging poor working conditions, low wages and child labour.
Natural Fruit, a major supplier to the European drink market, brought the action against Hall. The activist "was found guilty of defamation and under the computer crime act... the court sentenced him to four years in jail, reduced to three," his lawyer Nakhon Chomphuchat told AFP after the verdict, adding that the sentence was suspended. Rights groups say criminal defamation and computer misuse laws are routinely used to stifle investigative work. The contentious report -- "Cheap Has a High price" -- was published by the Finnish civil rights group Finnwatch.