Hackers associated with the group Anonymous took down several of Thailand's justice and federal websites Tuesday after two Burmese migrant workers were sentenced to death last month for the murder of two British tourists in September 2014, journalist Andrew Marshall reported via Twitter. The Dec. 24 verdict has come under criticism from people throughout the world who claim the convicted men were tortured by police and forced to confess to a crime they had not committed.
Anonymous is a loosely organized group of “hacktivists” who have used cyber tactics in attempts to take down groups like the Ku Klux Klan or the Islamic terror group known as ISIS. The group has claimed responsibility for temporarily downing Thai websites before, carrying out the same cyber protest Jan. 6.
— Andrew MacG Marshall (@zenjournalist) January 12, 2016
The Thailand case centers on the murders of British backpackers Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, who were found beaten to death on a beach on the resort island of Koh Tao. Witheridge was raped before her death.
After an 18-day trial, the two Burmese migrant workers, whose DNA was allegedly found on the victims, were convicted. The men later said they were forced to confess after being tortured and were not given proper interpreters to translate for them during the trial.
Anonymous is one of many groups and individuals who have criticized the Thai justice system in this case. Sources close to the investigation, including Witheridge’s sister, say Thai investigators bungled the case. “The thai police chief had no intentions of giving us an update,” wrote Laura Witheridge in a statement posted to her Facebook page Sunday, describing when her family went to retrieve her sister's body from Thailand. “After all, the bungled investigation meant he had nothing to tell us. The invitation was merely an opportunity for the press to take photographs of our family,” she wrote.
Many of the Thai websites taken down by Anonymous were still down at the time of publication.