Letter to EEAS on Natural Fruit vs Andy Hall

To EEAS/EU Delegation in Thailand

Dear Carl-Henrik Hall and Sandra De Waele,

In my capacity as Member of the European Parliament and knowing well the merits of the work of Finnwatch on corporate accountability for which Andy Hally was doing research, I am enquiring if the EU delegation in Thailand will take any urgent actions connected to the dramatic case of Andy Hall?

Next Monday, the 24th of August, a decision will be made on whether to indict Mr Hall on allegations of computer crime and criminal defamation. As you certainly know, this court case is connected to a report dating from 2013 which included allegations of worker abuse and slavery-like practices in the supply chain of Natural Fruit. It contained Andy Hall’s research. This led National Fruit to raise charges against Mr Hall. According to my knowledge next Monday’s decision will be crucial and Mr Hall could face 7 years in prison and more than $11 million in damages. After the decision the court process can’t be stopped.

I urge the EU and the delegation to do your utmost to help Andy Hall and make a public statement as was done last year. It is evident that all cases against Mr. Hall are in breach of international human rights norms and should thus be dropped. As you know, in October last year one of the charges against him was dropped.

The whole case is crucial in defining the rights of individuals to address and expose indecent labour conditions and thus for the protection of workers from abuse in Thailand. It should go without saying that no corporation should be accepted such lack of accountability.

Yours sincerely

Heidi Hautala, MEP