August 19, 2016

A conspiracy of silence

Kyaw Thura

A wave of public protest came together in front of the Thai embassy in Yangon following the announcement of the death sentence handed down by a Thai court on Thursday to two young Myanmar migrant workers for the murders of two British tourists on a beach on the island of Kho Tao in September last year.
The trial of the two men ended on 11 October amid controversy over the police’s handling of the case, a dispute over DNA tests and allegations of confessions under duress.
The victims David Miller and Hannah Witheridge were found bludgeoned to death on the beach, with reports stating that an autopsy revealed the woman had been raped.
Forensic scientists and lawyers defending the alleged murderers Ko Win Zaw Tun and Ko Zaw Lin have made a convincing argument for police incompetence in managing the crime scene for the collection of evidence, calling the trial and investigative procedures a complete shambles.
Whether or not the two Myanmar men committed the murder, it is absolutely necessary for the Myanmar government to step in through diplomatic channels and, in cooperation with Thailand’s Lawyers Council, to demand that the Thai government reconsider the case until their innocence or involvement is proved.


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