Thai Journalist Receives Two Year Jail Sentence for Defamation

by Admin on January 9, 2020

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A Thai journalist recently received a two-year jail sentence after being convicted of defamation in a Lopburi court.

Suchanee Cloitre was charged with defamation after a tweet she made in 2016 while working as a local broadcaster.

The tweet in question alleged that a local chicken farm, Thammakaset, had mistreated migrant workers from Myanmar.

The accusation wasn’t unfounded either, considering that Thammakaset had earlier been ordered by a court to pay compensation to workers for violations of Thailand’s labor laws.

But Thailand’s defamation laws, outlined in Section 326 of Thailand’s criminal code, are quite strict and have allegedly been used to target journalists thanks to the broadness of their language.

In Thailand, those convicted of defamation, defined as public comments that are found to impair a person’s reputation or place them in contempt or hatred by others, face up to five years in prison.

At the time of the labor controversy involving Thammakaset, the company and its owners sued 25 journalists and activists that accused the poultry business of labor infractions.

Suchanee states that everything she alleged in her reporting and social media activity was based on interviews with current and former employees at the poultry farm.

Read the full story here.

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