Today, the ICJ and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) submitted a joint amicus curiae in criminal defamation proceedings against human rights defenders Nan Win and Sutharee Wannasiri for bringing to light alleged labor rights violations at Thammakaset Company Limited.
The defamation charges relate to a 107-second film, produced by the non-governmental organization Fortify Rights, which documents previous defamation complaints brought by Thammakaset against 14 of its former migrant workers from Myanmar.
Nan Win was one of the migrant workers featured in the film. Sutharee Wannasiri, former Human Rights Specialist with Fortify Rights, was charged in connection with making three Twitter posts relating to the film.
The brief aims to clarify the nature and scope of Thailand’s international legal obligations relating to the right to freedom of expression and points out that the imposition of harsh penalties such as imprisonment or large fines on a human rights defender risks having a ‘chilling effect’ on the exercise of freedom of expression, which Thailand is bound to protect pursuant to its international legal obligations.
The preliminary examinations of Nan Win and Sutharee Wannasiri will begin on 4 February and 11 March 2019, respectively.
During the preliminary examination hearing, is the Court will consider the case before it to determine if it is a prima facie case.
The preliminary examination hearing is a mandatory proceeding in matters involving prosecution claims brought by private individuals or entities, such as in the case of Nan Win and Sutharee Wannasiri.
If the preliminary examination finds that the cases are prima facie, the court will admit to trial only the charges relating to the counts deemed prima facie.
If the court finds no prima facie case, it can rule that the charges be dismissed.
Thailand-Nan Win Kratik_Amicus-Advocacy-legal submission-2019-ENG (full amicus in PDF, English)
Thailand-Nan Win Kratik_Amicus-Advocacy-legal submission-2019-THA (full amicus in PDF, Thai)