Petition against Koh Tao verdict sent to Thai embassy

YANGON—A book signed by more than 25,000 people protesting the verdict against two Myanmar migrant workers for the murder of two British tourists in Koh Tao, Thailand, was sent to the Thai embassy in Myanmar on Tuesday.

In December, civic youth organisations collected more than 25,000 signatures from 12 townships around entire Myanmar in protest of the verdict against the two Myanmar citizens, who have been sentenced to death by a Thai court.

“We are going to send the petition for the truth about the two Myanmar workers to the Thai ambassador on January 5. More than 25,000 people from 12 cities across the country petitioned against the Koh Tao verdict. We, Myanmar citizens, don’t expect the release of the two Myanmar citizens as a result of the petition. However, we believe the petition will support the quest for truth about the two Myanmar citizens. We expected that the Thailand government will reconsider the Koh Tao verdict because the signatures express the real desire of the Myanmar people,” said Thet Swe Win, who sent the petition to the Thai embassy.

The book of signatures also contains a statement that Myanmar citizens do not accept the death penalty and that they want to reveal the truth about the two Myanmar citizens by reviewing the verdict.

“Civic youth organisations participated in the petition. We must send the petition to the Thai embassy. We hope the authorities will allow us to send the signatures to the Thai embassy because we are not holding a protest,” said Thet Swe Win.

On December 24, the two Myanmar migrants – Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun – were convicted of seven charges, including murder, rape, illegal border crossing, illegal staying, theft and withholding evidence. The Thai judge sentenced them to death after a 20-year prison term.

Protests and prayer vigils against the verdict and sentencing have been held in cities across Myanmar since they were handed down.