03 Nov Myanmar defence witness in Andy Hall case ‘threatened’

Written by Mizzima Published in Regional Read 1905 times
British rights activist for migrant workers, Andy Hall, says a Myanmar witness in his first defamation case has been threatened. Mr Hall (R) receives flowers from his supporters as he arrives for his trial at the Phra Khanong Provincial Court in Bangkok October 29, 2014. Photo: Narong Sangnak/EPA British rights activist for migrant workers, Andy Hall, says a Myanmar witness in his first defamation case has been threatened. Mr Hall (R) receives flowers from his supporters as he arrives for his trial at the Phra Khanong Provincial Court in Bangkok October 29, 2014. Photo: Narong Sangnak/EPA

Migrant worker activist Andy Hall says a key Myanmar witness in a recently-dropped defamation case against him in Thailand has faced threats, despite efforts to grant him protection and give him a new identity.

One of Mr Hall’s defence witnesses in the Natural Fruit vs. Andy Hall case, a Myanmar national U Aung Kyi, reported to Thai police on November 1 that he had been subject to threats and had been tracked over several days.

Mr Hall, who has been keeping the press informed and using social media to update developments in the four civil and criminal defamation cases, has used his blog November 3 to release the full testimony of the witness in Prakanong Court on September 10.

Mr Hall and his legal team made the decision to release the testimony to ensure the future protection of the witness and not to negatively impact the reputation of Natural Fruit Company, the Thai pineapple processor that is bringing the defamation cases against Mr Hall.

Witness U Aung Kyi had worked for several years for the company.

“This developing situation has led this witness and his family to fear for their personal security and well-being and has significantly disrupted their lives. This worker and his family had previously been re-located securely some distance out of the Natural Fruit Company Ltd area as preparation for becoming a case witness,” according to the post on Mr Hall’s blog.

Thai media report that the Myanmar migrant worker witness claimed his life had been threatened and that despite a change of identity, people had been able to track him down.

''Now the British Government has written to Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, asking for an investigation of the threats to his life,''said Mr Hall, according to Phuket Wan newspaper.

The Prakanong Court in Bangkok on October 29 dismissed a case of defamation brought against Mr Hall by the Thai pineapple processing company. Three more cases are pending related to a report he coauthored into labour conditions for migrant workers in Thailand for NGO Finnwatch. Mr Hall has worked with the Migrant Worker Rights Network that looks after the rights and conditions of Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand.

Last modified on Monday, 03 November 2014 14:39