After suffering long illnesses, the fathers of Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian both died within days of each other.
''Fate has united us in grief,'' Morison said today.
''The profound regret Khun Chutima and I now share is that the Royal Thai Navy's unjust case prevented us both from spending more time with our fathers before they died,'' he added.
''It is an abuse of humanity. We will never forgive or forget this week.''
John Harding Morison, 91, died in Mount Gambier, South Australia, on Monday. Sawat Sidasathian, 71, died in Korat province, Thailand, on Wednesday.
Despite universal condemnation by rights groups and a request asking Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha to have the misguided action quashed, charges against the two journalists are due to proceed at Phuket Provincial Court from July 14-16.
If the case goes ahead, the Thai government and the Royal Thai Navy are expected to face intense criticism.
A large media contingent, international observers, Phuketwan readers and supporters and the Muslim community in Thailand and abroad are likely to be at the Phuket court.
''My father was a well-respected monk from the age of seven until he turned 35,'' Khun Chutima said today.
''As he lay dying, I asked him what the outcome of the case would be. 'You are going to win,' he said. We are certain that he is right.''
The discovery of mass graves in jungle camps on the Thai-Malaysia border and off the Andaman coast and tv footage of people bobbing on boats in the Bay of Bengal confirmed last month what the Phuketwan journalists have been reporting about the Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees and their treatment in Thailand for the past seven years.
The pair have shared international awards for human rights reporting and investigative journalism.
In December, 2013, the Royal Thai Navy, always secretive about its activities, sued them both - and Phuketwan's parent company - over a 41-word paragraph quoted accurately from a Reuters news agency article.
Morison, Khun Chutima and Big Island Media were singled out for prosecution. The Reuters news agency, the article's authors and other news outlets that published the exact same paragraph have not been sued.
The paragraph refers to ''Thai naval forces'' and does not mention the Royal Thai Navy. Thai military-style operatives, including local police, deploy craft off the Andaman coast that are all painted naval-grey.
Back in 2009, the Phuketwan journalists defended the Royal Thai Navy against accusations that their vessels had been involved in the notorious inhumane ''pushbacks'' of boatpeople that cost the lives of hundreds of Rohingya Muslims.
''The boatpeople were confused then,'' Morison said. ''These days, it is the Navy that is confused.
''We are saddened that a service with a good reputation is allowing one or two officers with an obvious grudge to damage the Navy's reputation and Thailand's reputation.
''There is still time for the Prime Minister to intervene.''
The two journalists, who say they have already suffered financial and personal hardship, face a maximum of seven years in jail.
The case comes at a time when Thailand's military government is attempting to prove it is serious about permitting freedom of speech in its version of democracy.
Setting a precedent, the military versus media case was brought six months before the Army took control in Thailand in May last year.
In contrast to the Navy's action, the Prime Minister's office recently asked Khun Chutima, a PhD candidate studying Rohingya-related issues, to provide her suggestions for solving the boatpeople issue. She was happy to oblige.
This week's US State Department reported on the case reads as follows:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
''Libel Laws/National Security: Defamation is a criminal offense, punishable by a fine of up to 200,000 baht ($6000) and two years' imprisonment. Criminal courts made several rulings on defamation and libel cases against political activists and politicians. On April 17, authorities charged two reporters, Alan Morrison (sic) and Chutima Sidasathien (sic), from the English-language news website Phuketwan, with defamation and other offenses for publishing excerpts of a Pulitzer Prize-awarded Reuters report that alleged navy complicity in the trafficking of ethnic Rohingya. Officials released both journalists on bail. The first hearing in the case was scheduled for May 2015.''
Earlier this month in Bangkok, the two journalists and a British human rights defender, Andy Hall, briefed envoys from 28 European Union nations about their cases.
Procecutions involving Andy Hall are also mentioned in the US State Department report:
Section 5. Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights
''A Bangkok criminal court acquitted migrant rights advocate and foreign national Andy Hall on criminal defamation charges on October 29 in the first of four defamation suits that the Natural Fruit Company filed against him. The suits were based upon Hall's role in publicizing an investigative report released in 2013 and commissioned by the NGO Finnwatch that alleged serious labor rights violations and trafficking at the company's factory in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. Hall faced additional criminal defamation charges, one civil defamation action, and two criminal charges under the Computer Crimes Act that could result in up to seven years in prison on each count and 300 million baht ($9 million) in damages. The trial took place September 2-10. Hall and other human rights advocates continued to maintain that the company filed charges to silence him and other activists.''
The US State Department's Trafficking in Persons 2015 report, which last year mentioned both the Andy Hall and the Phuketwan cases in downgrading Thailand to Tier 3, the lowest level, is expected to be released within a week or so.
Morison and Khun Chutima remain on bail of 100,000 baht each, provided by the Andaman Community Rights and Legal Aid Centre, based in Trang province. Other groups and organisations have also offered financial help.
Most of the legal costs of the case are being met by the London-based Media Legal Defence Initiative.
In Thailand, a group of more than 10 lawyers have teamed up to provide legal counsel. They include the Human Rights Lawyers' Association, iLaw and SR Law.
WATCH Journey into Hell, by Four Corners
From Burma through Thailand, an award-winning current affairs team traces official complicity in the brutal treatment of the Rohingya and Phuketwan's part in its exposure.
WATCH How Trafficking Works
Phuketwan Investigative reporter Chutima Sidasathian, still being sued for criminal defamation over a Reuters paragraph: ''It's worse and worse, day by day. Nobody cares''.
LISTEN The Rohingya Solution
A tragedy almost beyond words has been unfolding in Thailand, where a human smuggling network is thriving with the full knowledge of some corrupt law enforcement officers. Alan Morison of Phuketwan talks to Australia's AM program.