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Newsline: Protest outside Thailand’s embassy in Myanmar against murder verdict

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside Thailand’s embassy in Yangon Friday after two Myanmar migrants were sentenced to death by a Thai court for murdering two British backpackers, in a verdict that has sparked anger in their homeland. Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun were found guilty on Thursday of killing David Miller, 24, and the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, whose battered bodies were found on a beach on the southern Thai diving resort of Koh Tao in September last year. The grim killings have sullied Thailand’s reputation as a tourist haven and raised questions over its justice system after the defence accused the police of bungling their investigation and using the men as scapegoats — a charge authorities deny. Hundreds of people, including monks, gathered in Yangon to protest at the verdict, many saying they believed the two men had been wrongly convicted. Many held signs with English slogans such as “Save Myanmar Poor Boys” and “Free Our Innocent Citizens”. Others held aloft pictures of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, saying they were appealing to him for clemency. A police cordon stopped protesters demonstrating opposite the embassy itself, confining them to the end of the street instead. The rally came as Myanmar’s envoy in Thailand met with senior government officials.



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