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Petition Letter to His Excellency British Prime Minister David Cameron

By All Arakan Students' & Youths' Congress, Arakan Renaissance Generation, Arakan Youths Association of University, Arakan Students' Union, Rakhine Women Network and Rakhaing Womens' Union  •  March 7, 2016

To,
His Excellency Prime Minister David Cameron
Prime Minister Office
Government of the United Kingdom
10 Downing Street, London

Subject: Submission of Appeal Letter

Respected Your Excellency,

Firstly, we would like to extend our best wishes to Your Excellency and members of government of the United Kingdom. We are members of civil society based organizations of Burma/Myanmar, and we have the honor to submit our appeal letter to Your Excellency, with much reverence.

Our appeal relates to the two citizens of Burma, 22-year old Maung Win Zaw Htun and Maung Zaw Lin, who had been accused and imprisoned for the rape and murder of the British citizens, Mr. David Miller and of Ms. Hannah Witheridge, at a resort of Koh Tao Island of Surat Thani Province, in the southern part of the Kingdom of Thailand, on September 15, 2014. The two young persons were working legitimately in the Kingdom of Thailand to support the life of family members. Their past histories showed that they were free from any criminal record and were of good character.

The weak evidence from crime scene, the findings in the investigation, the statement by the accused that they had made confessions under duress of threat and torture, the declaration of experts regarding the disparity between DNA of the accused and those found on murder victims, absence of credible witness of the crime and the Thai Lawyers Council’s lack of trust of Thai police authorities’ handling of the case, have thrown trial of the case into serious doubt. Under such circumstances, on December 24, 2015, the provincial court of Koh Samui, in southern Thailand, sentenced the two accused to death on 7 counts of the crimes of rape, murder, illegal entry etc.

We were very much distressed on hearing the news. The two were born in rural areas of the Arakan State of Burma. Due to the country’s poor economic and social conditions, most of the young people have to work in disproportion to their age, for the survival of their family members. The people of Burma have a very hard time to believe the accusation that the two country lads committed the horrible crimes of rape and murder against the two British citizens. Currently, members of families of the two young men are going through excruciating suffering and grief. The effect of grief and despair made the health problems of the father of Maung Win Zaw Htun to become more serious, and he eventually died a few months before the sentencing was done on the case by the court.

We respect and recognize the sovereignty and the independence of judiciary of a country. However, it is extremely important that the justice system punishes the persons really guilty of the crime and lets the innocents go free. Accordingly, we earnestly appeal to Your Excellency to help urge the Thai government and judiciary for review of the case and invoking the question of pardon, in the interest of bringing out truth and justice. The citizens of Burma have a strong desire to see the speedy release of Maung Win
Zaw Htun and Maung Zaw Lin. For that reason, we respectfully attach to our appeal letter a copy of the list of names and signatures of ninety seven thousands and thirty seven (97,037) peoples supporting the appeal for review of the case and pardon of the two.

Respectfully yours,

Organizations for Signature Campaign Movement for Release of Maung Win Zaw Htun and
Maung Zaw Lin

• All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress – AASYC
• Rakhaing Womens’ Union – RWU
• Rakhine Women Network – RWN
• Arakan Renaissance Generation – ARG
• Arakan Youths Association of University – AYAOU
• Arakan Students’ Union (Dagon University-Yangon)

Copy –
– Prime Minister, Royal Thai Government
– President, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar
– Thailand Lawyer Council
– Migrant Workers Rights Network-Thailand
– General Public

Download this petition letter in English here.

အသနားခံစာလႊာ ျမန္မာဘာသာကုိ ဤေနရာတြင္ ရယူႏုိင္သည္။

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