Thailand High Court Upholds Death Penalty in the Case of Two Murdered Tourists

by Admin on September 19, 2019

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Thailand’s Supreme Court has upheld a death penalty sentence given to two migrant workers from Myanmar who were convicted of murdering two British tourists.

In 2015,  Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were sentenced to death for the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge and the killing of David Miller on Koh Tao, an island paradise known for backpackers and scuba diving.

The two had met at a diving resort before being found dead on the beach from head wounds just a few days later.

The Supreme Court upheld the ruling after examining the forensic results.

The two convicted men have long maintained their innocence and are currently seeking a royal pardon.

Some rights groups have argued that the men were treated unfairly by authorities throughout the investigation and were used an easy scapegoat to silence a story that blew up internationally, potentially damaging Thailand’s prized tourism industry.

During the investigation, it was also shown that police committed multiple mishaps, and some claiming that the police mishandled DNA evidence.

Police on Koh Tao were also accused of torturing the two Myanmar citizens in an effort to coerce a confession.

The families of the victims were initially skeptical about the convictions of the two migrant workers, but after examining the most recent rulings and evidence, they eventually backed the conviction.

Thailand has been in hot waters with the international community recently for its renewed interest in using the death penalty as a deterrent for crimes, according to Thailand criminal defense attorneys.

Last year, Thailand executed a man for the first time since a 2009 moratorium on the practice was instated.

Read the full story here.

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