The Bangkok Put up says Thailand has abused this and different felony libel legal guidelines for a few years to silence and punish authorities critics, activists and journalists, and the legal guidelines must be modified. That appears like a clever concept. Journalism is important to a thriving, open society and should not be carelessly stifled by particular pursuits or governments.
The Thai case started in 2016, when a bunch of migrant staff from Myanmar complained to the Nationwide Human Rights Fee of Thailand about situations on the poultry farm, Thammakaset. They mentioned they labored 20 hours a day with out a break day for 40 or extra consecutive days, have been paid lower than the minimal wage, bought no time beyond regulation, and had their passports confiscated and freedom of motion restricted. The farm sued them for defamation. That swimsuit was thrown out by a Bangkok courtroom in 2018. A separate ruling by Thailand’s Supreme Court docket in January 2019 upheld a decrease courtroom verdict and awarded 14 of the employees $53,000 in compensation.
Ms. Suchanee was commenting on Twitter in regards to the authorized dispute when she used the phrases “slave labour.” The hen farm sued her over the tweet. The Lop Provincial Buri Court docket on Dec. 24 discovered the journalist responsible of defamation. In line with news reports, the courtroom mentioned she had not weighed the potential reputational harm to the farm, had not checked on the accuracy of the tweet and subsequently had acted in unhealthy religion.
That is unmerited. Ms. Suchanee’s comment, solely two phrases, was pungent, like a lot social media clatter, and it was actually disagreeable for Thammakaset. However the hen farm might have used every kind of strategies — an announcement, or Twitter — to reply. Even higher, it might deal with its staff extra humanely. The tweet was not one thing for which a journalist ought to go to jail, particularly contemplating that Thailand’s excessive courtroom had already awarded compensation to the migrant staff. Hopefully, Ms. Suchanee will win on enchantment. Thailand beneath a army junta has a terrible record on press freedom. Right here is an effective place to start to enhance.