Court Dismissed the Gold Mine Case of Thai PBS
is a Good Sign and Emphasizes that Thailand
Needs to Grant Freedom of Expression for the Media

16 November 2016


The criminal court dismissed the case where “Toongkam Company Limited” filed a lawsuit of defamation by advertising pursuant to Section 328 of the Criminal Code and Section 14(1) of the Computer Act against the correspondents and the board of directors of Thai PBS after the station reported news regarding the environmental effects of the gold mining run by the aforesaid company in Loei Province. Amnesty International Thailand stated that such decision is a good sign for freedom of expression of the media in Thailand.   


“The dismissal is a good sign for the freedom of expression of the media in Thailand because every correspondent should have space to do their job fully without being scared that they will be threatened or counterattacked, especially when they report stories regarding human rights violation”, said Mrs. Piyanuch Kotsan, Director of Amnesty International Thailand.


Nevertheless, the court stated that the coverage of Thai PBS was in good faith. The report and analysis of environmental impacts presented were based on information from the field survey. It was found that the river in the area was actually contaminated by mining, and this piece of information can be verified by several safety and environmental audit reports conducted by the government. The court deemed that the allegations of Toongkam Company were of without substance and therefore dismissed the case.




However, Amnesty continues to call on the Thai authority to respect the freedom of media and freedom of expression of the people, as well as stopping criminal conviction for defamation, as suggested by the UN Human Rights Committee, which states that criminal penalties are not proportionate to defamation.