EUROPEAN UNION DELEGATION TO THAILAND
Local EU Statement on the increasing misuse of criminal defamation laws in Thailand
The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Thailand. Bangkok, 14 November 2014
The EU is committed to promoting and protecting the freedom of opinion and expression worldwide.
The EU Delegation wishes to express its concern over the increasing misuse of criminal defamation laws in Thailand. The EU believes that defamation laws should not be misused to censor criticism and debate concerning public issues as this constitutes a serious threat to Freedom of Expression.
Recent cases brought against Human Rights Defender Andy Hall, journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian from the”Phuketwan” newspaper, and the freelance journalist Andrew Drummond have served to demonstrate how criminal defamation laws are vexatiously used to silence freedom of expression and investigative journalism in the country.
The EU would like to appeal to State authorities to fully abide by their international obligations.
As part of wider reform in Thailand, we urge the National Reform Council to address this issue, so that criminal defamation laws can not in the future be used as a means of silencing legitimate analysis or debate.