The father of one of the detained suspects in the Koh Tao murder case has told DVB that at their family reunion this afternoon, his son told him that he and his friend confessed to rape and murder only after Thai interrogators threatened to kill them, and that they did not commit the alleged crimes.
Htun Htun Htike, the father of Win Zaw Htun, said, “My son and his friend [Zaw Lin] told me that they were subjected to physical torture by the Thai police and their translator.
“The interrogators told them to confess to the crime, and threatened to cut off their limbs, put them in a bag, and dump them in a river if they did not.
“The police also threatened to tie the two boys to a tire, pour petrol on it, and set it alight,” he told DVB’s Aye Nai in an exclusive interview on Friday. “My son said they were terrified and confessed. But now that we [their parents and Burmese officials] are present, they can speak the truth – that they did not commit the murder.
“My son also told me that the police threatened to use tasers on them.”
Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, both 21, from Kyaukphyu in Arakan State, had been living and working on the island of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand when, on 15 September, the bodies of English tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, were found on Sairee Beach.
Both had been bludgeoned to death while Miss Witheridge was also raped.
The case generated immense media interest around the world and the Thai police and government has been under diplomatic pressure to find the killers.
Both the Thai police chief in charge of the investigation and the Thai prime minister have claimed that the case was handled correctly and that the two Burmese migrants were not scapegoats.