The Bangkok South Criminal Court today confiscated the passport of British migrant rights defender Andy Hall and imposed on him a travel ban, following the grant of a temporary bail.
The bail request was made in advance of Hall’s official indictment next week on January 18 for an internationally monitored criminal defamation and computer crimes case brought against him by Thai pineapple exporter Natural Fruit.
According to Finnwatch, a Helsinki-based NGO which supports Hall's fight, the activist will now petition the British Embassy to Thailand for
assistance in requesting diplomatic officials to seek the return of his passport from the court.
To Finnwatch, the confiscation of Hall's passport and the limitations placed on his ability to travel freely are a form of harrassment and intimidation.
Ever since the beginning of this campaign of judicial harassment, Hall has shown nothing but respect towards the rule of law and the
judiciary in Thailand, alongside his willingness to respond to allegations against him in a court of law. For this reason, there seems
to be no reason to treat him as a flight risk, confiscate his passport and prevent him from travelling in and out of Thailand, said Sonja
Vartiala, executive director of Finnwatch.