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Myanmar men sentenced to death for murder of British backpackers in Thailand

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A Thai court sentenced two Myanmar migrant workers to death on Thursday after convicting them of the 2014 murders of two British tourists on a holiday island in a case mired in controversy and a dispute over DNA samples.

 

The battered bodies of backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were found on a beach on the island of Koh Tao in September 2014. Police said Witheridge had been raped and bludgeoned to death. Miller also suffered blows to his head.

 

Following weeks of pressure to solve the case, police arrested Myanmar migrant workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun and later said the two had confessed to the crimes.

 

The brutality of the murders dented Thailand's image as a happy-go-lucky holiday paradise and raised serious questions about its treatment of migrant workers.

 

The verdict and sentence follow an investigation and trial that triggered allegations of police incompetence, mishandling of evidence and DNA tests and torture of the suspects. Both later retracted their confessions saying they had been made under duress.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-thailand-britain-murder-idUSKBN0U708C20151224

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