Media Defence is supporting Thai journalist subject to SLAPP lawsuit after reporting on alleged labour rights violations
We are supporting Suchanee Cloitre, a journalist facing criminal defamation proceedings filed by Thammasakaet, a poultry company based in Thailand. In 2019, Thailand’s Human Rights Commission accused the company of committing serious labour rights violations against its migrant workers. Cloitre then tweeted about those allegations, characterising the company’s actions as akin to “slave labour”. As a result, Thammasakaet filed criminal defamation charges against her.
The lawsuit is among 39 criminal and civil actions filed by Thammasakaet against 22 people who have reported on or complained about the company’s labour practices. These cases have been widely criticised as SLAPP litigation. In March 2020 a group of UN experts, including David Kaye, then Special Rapporteur of freedom of expression, condemned the company’s “continued misuse of judicial processes … to harass and silence human rights defenders who have spoken out against its abusive and exploitative labour practices”.
Cloitre was initially convicted of the offence and sentenced to two years non-probational imprisonment. In October 2020, Thailand’s Appeal Court overturned that verdict. It considered that Cloitre’s tweet was properly characterised as journalistic reporting. Consequently, Thammasakaet appealed that decision, and the case now moves to the Supreme Court.
If you are a journalist or citizen journalist in need of support, please click here.
If you would like to support our work, please click here.
LPM Lintas: Indonesian student magazine shut down after reporting on sexual harassment investigation
At the State Institute of Islamic Studies (IAIN) in Ambon, Indonesia, student magazine LPM Lintas was shut down in March 2022 after publishing the results of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment at the university. The investigation relied on the testimony of dozens of students. The university’s rector subsequently issued a decree to close […]
Durante años, la periodista Claudia Julieta Duque fue sometida a una prolongada campaña de tortura psicológica a manos de la extinta policía secreta colombiana, el Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS). Desde 2001, Duque se enfrentó a una persecución implacable, desde el secuestro hasta la incesante invasión de su intimidad, pasando por la vigilancia ilegal de […]
For over two decades journalist Claudia Duque was subjected to a prolonged campaign of psychological torture at the hands of the now-defunct Colombian secret police, the Department of Security (DAS). Since 2001, Duque faced relentless persecution — from kidnapping to the ceaseless invasion of her privacy, encompassing illegal surveillance of phone calls, emails, and bank […]