Detained Koh Tao suspect’s father dies

15 May 2015
Detained Koh Tao suspect’s father dies
Myanmar migrant workers who are accused of killing two British tourists Wai Phyo (Front) and Zaw Lin (Back) arrive for trial at Samui Provincial Court in Samui island, Surat Thani province, southern Thailand, 30 April 2015. Photo: EPA

A representative of the Migrant Workers Rights Network and the Lawyers Council of Thailand this morning arranged for and was granted special access to Koh Tao case accused Wai Phyo (Win Zaw Htun) inside Koh Samui prison to convey to him in person the sad news that his father had died.
The network, passing on the news on Facebook, said Wai Phyo’s father U Tin Tin Htike died in Myanmar on May 14. 
Detained Myanmar migrant Wai Phyo has now acknowledged the news of his father’s death.
MWRN will now organise for Wai Phyo to be able to communicate with his mother and seek to request prison authorities for assistance to ensure Wai Phyo is able to undertake religious ceremonies as he wishes to mark the passing of his father.
The network says they will now respect the right of privacy for Wai Phyo to grieve the passing of his father in private and at this time shall make no further comments on this issue.
Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin Oo are detained in Koh Samui prison on charges connected with the murder of two British tourists on September 15 on the Thai resort island of Koh Tao. Both men are pleading not guilty. Some critics accuse the Thai authorities of framing the two Myanmar men, both 21, and organizing a cover-up after members of a local organized-crime gang were implicated. The case is ongoing.