‘Police nearly tricked me into a confession’

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A Spalding human rights activist has turned to the EU for help after claiming he was almost tricked into signing a confession that allegations he made against a Thai fruit company were untrue.

Andy Hall faces jail and heavy financial penalties over a campaign to protect migrant workers’ at Natural Fruit Ltd.

On Monday, after fresh allegations were made against him over videos posted online, he met with European Union officials in Thailand because he says he has had no practical help from the British Embassy.

He told the Spalding Guardian: “I was almost tricked into signing a false confession on Saturday partly due to my presence at Bangna Police Station over the fresh allegations and the British Embassy refusing to share information or go with me.

“But I don’t think the police realised how fluent my Thai is.

“During the only time I met the vice-consul, he said I was ‘in no different position to an accused phaedophile’ and the embassy wouldn’t intervene unless I could not get a fair trial.

“And they gave me a ‘what to do in a Thai jail’ book.”

Front Line Defenders have expressed deep concern at the police conduct and lawsuits filed against Mr Hall and believes them to be solely motivated by his work as a prominent migrant rights defender in Thailand.

However, Mr Hall remains confident he will ultimately win his case.

He said: “This is political persecution – harrassment. I am a human rights activist and my government must and should protect me. It’s their duty.

“The Finnish Embassy and EU seem very supportive, and the US embassy is always ringing me.

“This is also more importantly about the UK’s duty to support my work to protect Myanmar people, worker rights and trade going to Britain.

“It’s an insult to my dignity and international human rights standards that a private individual can bring so many malicious cases against me for revealing their multiple illegality,’’