Hundreds of people protested outside the Thai embassy in Yangon today, voicing their opposition to the Koh Tao murder verdict handed down by a Koh Samui court yesterday.
A heavy police presence was seen outside the embassy as protesters chanted and held signs in support of Myanmar migrant workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, who were convicted yesterday of the murder of British backpacker David Miller and of the rape and murder of fellow Brit Hannah Witheridge.
The case has attracted controversy over a flawed police investigation, allegations of improperly handled DNA evidence, and arguments that the two Myanmar men were tortured into confessing and used as scapegoats by authorities.
Many protesters, who believe the two men were wrongly convicted, held signs with English slogans such as “Save Myanmar Poor Boys” and “Free Our Innocent Citizens”, AFP reported.
“This is just discrimination against us,” demonstrator Min Thein Khaing said.
“There was little evidence, no witnesses and not much DNA evidence but still they got a death sentence. It’s unfair.”
Activists say the case reflects a wider trend of low-paid migrant workers from neighbouring countries being blamed for crimes in Thailand where the justice system is easily bent by wealth and power.
Story: Coconuts Bangkok/ AFP