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Human rights defender is battling on

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

Spalding human rights activist Andy Hall is considering lodging an official complaint against the British government, which he claims has left him “high and dry” while he fights defamation charges that could see him jailed for 28 years in Thailand.

Earlier this month he was in court on four charges lodged against him by the Natural Fruit Co Ltd and, as well as a jail sentence, could have to pay $10 million in damages if they are proved.

After Mr Hall had his passport confiscated, his father, Desmond, of Moulton, urged everyone in the UK to support his son’s fight against Thai companies that supply UK supermarkets with “cheap food at a high price”.

Andy said: “The US government has highlighted my case in it’s annual trafficking report and many other embassies and organisations, apart from the UK embassy, have highlighted and campaigned on my case with the understanding a human rights defender is being persecuted or harassed.

“The UK embassies and foreign office continues to insist however my case is a general consular case, despite the attendance at my case hearing last week of a political analyst. This is really concerning for me.

“I have from the beginning made clear to the foreign office my case is not a general consular case but a political and human rights defender case, with serious trade implications that the UK Government should be taking note of carefully and acting appropriately, alongside the EC and EU member states.

”I am currently finalising a detailed submission and complaint on UK Government consular services. I will be publicly releasing this complaint and seeking to have the issue tabled in Parliament for discussion.”

In an email to Mr Hall, Alexandra McKenzie, deputy head of the ASEAN Department, said the UK Government was uable to interfere in an ongoing judicial process.

She said: “Mr Hall should continue to defend his case through his lawyer. We continue to raise the issue of labour rights in general with the Thai authorities. This is an issue to which the UK attaches great importance.”

With four big criminal and civil cases all underway against him, filed by Natural Fruit, and the trial in first case starting in September, Andy has launched an appeal for help with costs.

The link to case fund is http://andyjhall.wordpress.com/category/donate-now/

 

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