BANGKOK – A Thai court has confiscated the passport of British migrant rights defender Andy Hall and banned him from traveling outside of the country.
The order was handed down Wednesday following a bail request submission ahead of his indictment next week on criminal defamation and computer crimes offenses charges brought against him by Thai pineapple exporter Natural Fruit Company Ltd.
While Hall was granted bail, he was ordered not to leave Thailand before the case has been ruled on by the court.
Helsinki-based NGO Finnwatch issued a statement saying that Hall will seek the help of the British Embassy in Thailand in an attempt to have his passport returned by the court.
“The confiscation of Andy Hall’s passport and the limitations placed on his ability to travel freely are a form of harassment and intimidation,” the statement said.
Ever since the beginning of this campaign of judicial harassment, Andy Hall has shown nothing but respect towards the rule of law and the judiciary in Thailand, alongside his willingness to respond to allegations against him in a court of law.”
Hall could face up to seven years in prison if found guilty of the charges, which were brought against him by Natural Fruit in 2013 for documenting and exposing abuses against migrants in a report by Finnwatch called, “Cheap Has a High Price.”