The Thai police is under Anonymous’ scanner again. This time, Anonymous is protesting the recent controversial conviction of two Burmese men who are facing a death sentence in connection to the murders of two British backpackers.
Hacktivist collective Anonymous isn’t one for meagre efforts. The group has previously targeted authorities in Thailand as a part of the campaign #OpSingleGateway. The result? The comprehensive takedown of multiple government websites and Thai police servers.
The stakes remain high with #OpSingleGateway and the cause for a campaign against a government allegedly intent on implementing a single internet gateway in Thailand. With the most recent call for justice, Anonymous is taking on the Thai government and police again. This time, the global hactivist collective sees a rigged investigation conducted by Thai authorities to fast-track a conviction process in the case of the murders of two British tourists backpacking in Koh Tao, Thailand.
The ‘Koh Tao murders’ were committed in September 2014 and the victims were Hannah Witheridge, 23 and David Miller, 24. The death sentence were handed to two migrant workers from Myanmar, Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, both 22.
The two migrant workers initially confessed to the murders but later retracted the confessions, after claiming that they were “beaten out of them.”
Human rights groups have repeatedly raised questions and awareness to the ways in which Thai police conducted the investigation. A chief accusation is the mishandling of crucial DNA evidence by the police. Furthermore, human rights groups allege that Thailand has a history wherein migrants have been falsely accused of crimes. It was only a matter of time before Anonymous joined the cause.
On January 3, 2016, Anonymous made a public call by posting links to 15 different Thai police websites along with multiple Thai police email addresses to ask its members and supporters to hack them. By Tuesday, two days later, at least five police websites had been hacked. The homepages were replaced with a simple message that read “Failed Law. We want Justice.”
In a statement to Reuters, a Thai police spokesman confirmed the attack on several websites but insisted that there was no breach of confidential data.
“They’re not good enough to hack into our system and steal any of our data,” bragged police spokesman Dechnarong Suthicharnbancha.
The group posted a 37-minute long video on Facebook, with a speaker wearing the famed Guy Fawkes mask narrating a statement.
An excerpt from the statement [pastebin] read:
Anonymous, has been watching this case, because of the large amount of online supporters for two Burmese migrants over social media, with many users and bloggers all suggesting on blogs and forums that they have been used by the Thai police as scapegoats to solve the case quickly and to protect Thailand’s tourist industry.
Citing the concerns raised by humans rights groups from around the world, Anonymous also stated:
They seem only to care about one thing, their lucrative tourism industry. Anonymous has found that Thai police, lie, fabricate evidence, do poor police investigating, contaminate crime scenes, loose DNA and evidence, accuse non-Thai nationals.
The statement added that the Thai Police “refuse to believe truth and evidence that would clear their preferred suspects and refuse to believe that their own Thai locals are responsible for any wrongdoing.“
Anonymous joins the calls for justice also being sought by protestors outside the Thai embassy in Yangon, Myanmar. The ongoing protests, launched since the verdict for the two workers, had the Thai embassy announce that it would remain closed till Jan 8.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for Thai police claimed that those who hacked the websites will be caught, somehow.
“Even if the source of attack was from abroad, they will be convicted eventually,” said Dechnarong. “It’s not a problem.Thai police are excellent.”
Featured image from Shutterstock.