UN Calls on Thai Navy to Drop Defamation Charges Against Australian Editor

UN Calls on Thai Navy to Drop Defamation Charges Against Australian Editor
Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian
Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian

 

PHUKET – The United Nations has urged Thailand’s Navy to drop defamation charges against an Australian and a Thai journalist for a report alleging military involvement in people-smuggling, warning of a ”chilling effect” on press freedom.

Former Age deputy editor Alan Morison and colleague Chutima Sidasathian have been accused by a military officer of damaging the Thai navy’s reputation and breaching the country’s Computer Crimes Act.

Morison edits news website Phuketwan. They face jail if convicted.

”Criminal prosecution for defamation has a chilling effect on freedom of the press, and international standards are clear that imprisonment is never an appropriate penalty,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.

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