American could face prison time for negative reviews of Thailand hotel

Nation/world
Blue water lines the coast of Koh Chang island in March 2018, Trat Province, southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Phusit wirutthanatporn)

Blue water lines the coast of Koh Chang island in March 2018, Trat Province, southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Phusit wirutthanatporn)

American expat Wesley Barnes, an English teacher in Thailand, has been sued for criminal defamation by an island hotel where he stayed because of derogatory reviews he posted online.

He could face up to seven years in prison on two charges if tried and found guilty. He says he is anxious to end his dispute with the Sea View Koh Chang hotel, which filed complaints with police charging him with defamation and posting allegedly false information online.

Labor activists, journalists and whistleblowers in Thailand have complained of being targets in recent years of costly criminal defamation lawsuits for exposing alleged corporate wrongdoing.

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