The Committee to Protect Journalists has urged the Thai prime minister to intervene in the case of freelance journalist Andrew Drummond, convicted last week of criminal libel.
The Times stringer has been nearly bankrupted by a case brought by the owners of a sex club whom he alleged had been involved in fraud. He was fined £800, given a six-month suspended sentence and left with steep legal bills.
The US-based pressure group said in a letter to Thaksin Shinawatra that it was “gravely concerned that Thailand’s criminal defamation laws are being used to suppress critical voices”.
It added: “Journalists should never be criminally prosecuted for their work. Such protections are especially important for investigative journalists, who expose corruption and abuses of power.”