Saturday, 30 August 2014

When Is It Right To Buy A Person?

An appeal from Walk Free:
      Andy Hall could face 7 years in prison for doing something you and I do everyday -- talking about modern slavery.

         Andy Hall is a British campaigner with a special focus on the rights of migrant workers. Two years ago, on behalf of Finnwatch, he undertook an investigation into Natural Fruit, part of NatGroup, a Thai company that processes pineapples and supplies retailers around the world. Finnwatch's final report paints a picture suggesting modern slavery: "...passports and work permits confiscated; compulsory and excessive overtime; fines and unclear deductions from wages; debt bondage and violence by guards and superiors."1
      Instead of focusing on addressing these serious allegations, Natural Fruit decided to try and silence Andy with lawsuits. They have pursued civil and criminal charges and now Andy could face a prison sentence and $10 million in legal damages for his investigations.

       Are you as outraged as we are? Now is your chance to join the call for justice. Stand with Andy Hall: demand that Natural Fruit drop all charges against him and thoroughly investigate and take action to ensure there is no modern slavery or exploitation in their business.
        Now is a crucial time in Andy’s prosecution. In just three days his trial will begin. Although Natural Fruit’s behaviour is deeply disturbing it proves that the company cares about its public image. By coming together over the next few days, with activists all around the world that are standing in solidarity with Andy, we can show Natural Fruit’s senior management what we think about these excessive and intimidating charges.
        If this case proceeds and Natural Fruit are successful this would not only be a grave miscarriage of justice for Andy. This process could set a dangerous precedent for other companies in Thailand that might take a similar approach when allegations are raised of modern slavery in their supply chains. This threatens the work of anti-slavery campaigners but also workers in Thailand who might be too afraid to come forward and report abuse.

     Andy Hall is one of us -- please join the growing global outcry over his prosecution and fight for the rights of anti-slavery campaigners and their efforts to end worker exploitation.

In solidarity,

The whole Walk Free team
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