PERHAPS MISGUIDED, PERHAPS BELATED BUT 80,000 PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED-
An online petition demanding a British investigation into the deaths of backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller may be less than pragmatic – but some 80,000 people have signed – some of whom plan to march on Downing Street this weekend.
Actually quietly there has been a British investigation going on – after the shambolic investigation into the rape and murder of Kirsty Jones in 2000 – where Thai police co-operation turned up nothing – the British government would be lax to not to try and find out for. themselves.
But nothing would be gained by confrontation with the Thai authorities.
This petition is driven more by gut feeling than anything else – but it is a blow to the credibility of the Thai police and government. The organisors say the two Burmese on trial are innocent victims.
The Jersey Evening Post in the Channel Island, the home of victim David Miller, and his friends Chris and James Ware, who travelled with him to Koh Tao, is front paging the story.
The following is the text of the message signed and to be delivered to Prime Minister David Cameron. The petition is here
On September 15th, 2 innocent British citizens – David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23 were found raped and murdered in the most horrific manner possible whilst on holiday in Thailand on the island of Koh Tao. The Thai police’s flawed handling of this crime has been a grave cause of concern from both the local and international community from the very start of the investigation. The Thai authorities insensitive obsession with tourist figures and the police’s notoriously corrupt reputation around the world, has been in the forefront of these concerns.
From a completely destroyed crime scene, racial slurs and finger pointing against foreigners, victim blaming from the General turned Prime Minister, police posting pictures of the dead victims bodies on their FB accounts (with no regard for the victims friends and families), countless releases. of unnecessary and highly conflicting pieces of information / evidence to the media, reports of investigators beating and offering bribes to false witnesses (and then still being allowed to work on the case), reports of torturing of suspects, suspicious and insensitive re-enactments of. the crime, and the well known fact that citizens of Myanmar are the usual choice of scapegoats in Thailand.
The International and local community are now not able to trust that the two Myanmar nationals, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, have not had their confessions forced out of them or that evidence against them has not been tampered with. As such we can not also trust that they are responsible. This being said, we demand a full independent investigation to be conducted by the government of the United Kingdom into these deaths. This is in the hope that the families of these victims may know justice has been served, and that the deaths of two more possible innocents might be avoided.
And across the UK in Norfolk where Hannah Witheridge comes from the Norwich Evening News seems also unconvinced that the Thai authorities have arrested the right people.
And in Burma of course there is more support for the suspects than anywhere