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Thai court acquits reporter over chicken farm tweet

BANGKOK, Oct 27 (Reuters) - A Thai appeals court on Tuesday overturned charges against a television reporter who had been sentenced to two years in prison for libelling a chicken farm on Twitter.

Suchanee Cloitre was convicted in December, 2019 for a Twitter post about a legal dispute over working conditions at the Thammakaset farm.

In a statement, the court ruled that while some of her wording had not been suitable, she had done no wrong.

“As a member of the press and a citizen, the defendant has the right to investigate, criticise and give opinion that is in the public interest,” it said.

Suchanee, who had been on bail, told Reuters she felt “much relieved”.

Her Twitter post centred on a complaint that a group of migrant workers from Myanmar made to Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission about conditions at the chicken farm in 2016.

Thammakaset, which has denied the accusations from the outset, has filed multiple lawsuits against journalists and activists over the case.

Representatives of the farm could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday. (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Ed Davies and Himani Sarkar)

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