Death sentence for Myanmar men prompts protest at “shameless” Thais Skip to main content

Death sentence for Myanmar men prompts protest at “shameless” Thais

Zaw Lin (right) and Wai Phyo (left) escorted by a Thai police officer after they were sentenced to death at the Samui Provincial Court, on Koh Samui Island, southern Thailand, Dec 24, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

YANGON/BANGKOK (REUTERS) – Hundreds called for the release of two Myanmar migrant workers in a protest in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, on Friday (Dec 25), a day after a Thai court sentenced the two to death for the 2014 murders of two young British tourists.

The court convicted Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun of the brutal murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, on the Thai holiday island of Koh Tao, a case mired in controversy and questions about the police investigation and Thailand’s treatment of migrant workers.

Around 1,000 people gathered in front of the Thai embassy in Yangon on Friday (Dec 25), police said, calling for the two to be freed. Dozens of police stood guard and closed a lane in front of the building.

Some protesters held signs saying: “Shameless Thailand government” while others shouted “We want justice” in English.

They demonstrators dispersed after their request to see the Thai ambassador was turned down.

The verdict followed a trial that saw prosecutors build much of their case around DNA evidence that police said linked the two migrant workers to the crime. Defence lawyers argued that police had mishandled the DNA evidence and that the two men were tortured while in detention.

The killings sullied Thailand’s reputation as a happy-go-lucky tourist destination and raised questions over its justice system and its treatment of migrant workers.

U Win Maung, Myanmar’s Ambassador to Thailand, said the verdict would not affect diplomatic ties. “Everyone who is a human, if they hear that they are getting the death sentence, they will be sad, but this is the legal procedure so we have to adhere to the legal procedure,” U Win Maung told reporters in Bangkok.

Some activists have argued that the defendants were scapegoats. Thailand hosts about 2.5 million migrants from its poorer neighbour, many of them working in the fishing and construction industry or as domestic helpers or cleaners in hotels and restaurants.

Amnesty International called for an independent investigation into allegations the Myanmar men were tortured, adding that police in Thailand had a “long and disturbing track record” of using torture to extract “confessions”.

A judge dismissed allegations of torture in the Koh Tao case saying there was no evidence it took place.

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/death-sentence-for-myanmar-men-will-not-affect-thai-myanmar-ties-ambassador

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chronology of the Press in Burma

1836 – 1846 * During this period the first English-language newspaper was launched under British-ruled Tenasserim, southern  Burma . The first ethnic Karen-language and Burmese-language newspapers also appear in this period.     March 3, 1836 —The first English-language newspaper,  The Maulmain Chronicle , appears in the city of Moulmein in British-ruled Tenasserim. The paper, first published by a British official named E.A. Blundell, continued up until the 1950s. September 1842 —Tavoy’s  Hsa-tu-gaw  (the  Morning Star ), a monthly publication in the Karen-language of  Sgaw ,  is established by the Baptist mission. It is the first ethnic language newspaper. Circulation reached about three hundred until its publication ceased in 1849. January 1843 —The Baptist mission publishes a monthly newspaper, the Christian  Dhamma  Thadinsa  (the  Religious Herald ), in Moulmein. Supposedly the first Burmese-language newspaper, it continued up until the first year of the second Angl

Thai penis whitening trend raises eyebrows

Image copyright LELUXHOSPITAL Image caption Authorities warn the procedure could be quite painful A supposed trend of penis whitening has captivated Thailand in recent days and left it asking if the country's beauty industry is taking things too far. Skin whitening is nothing new in many Asian countries, where darker skin is often associated with outdoor labour, therefore, being poorer. But even so, when a clip of a clinic's latest intriguing procedure was posted online, it quickly went viral. Thailand's health ministry has since issued a warning over the procedure. The BBC Thai service spoke to one patient who had undergone the treatment, who told them: "I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs". The 30-year-old said his first session of several was two months ago, and he had since seen a definite change in the shade. 'What for?' The original Facebook post from the clinic offering the treatment, which uses lasers to break do

Myanmar Villagers Tell of 150 Homes Burned in Deadly Army Air Attacks

Artillery fire and aerial bombardments by Myanmar forces killed three civilians and burned scores of houses in their communities in mid-March amid fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army in war-ravaged Rakhine state, villagers recounted Monday at a press conference. Villagers from Kyauktaw township in western Myanmar's Rakhine state discuss the government military's attacks on their communities at press conference in Sittwe, March 30, 2020. They made the comments after traveling from in Kyauktaw township to the state capital Sittwe to give testimony on a series of attacks on civilian dwellings amid a government-imposed internet shutdown in nine townships in Rakhine and neighboring Chin state, cutting off vital information about the fighting. They villagers accused the Myanmar Army of conducting an aerial bombing on civilian communities that destroyed about 150 homes and a monastery in Pyaing Taing village, while government soldiers on the g