Thailand murders
Tun Tun Htike (left) and May Thein, parents of Win Zaw Htun, one of two Myanmar workers accused of killing the British touristsReuters

A fundraising effort has been set up to help defend the alleged Burmese killers of British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.

Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 21, were arrested earlier this month and accused of the double murder of backpackers Witheridge, 23, and Miller, 24.

But the pair recanted their admission, claiming they confessed to the killings only after Thai police threatened them with electrocution and violence.

Now, the Burmese Migrant Worker Rights Network has set up a fund to help raise money for the pair to defend themselves in court in the hope they will receive a fair trial.

Criticism has been levelled at Thai police for an alleged bungled investigation and concerns had been raised that Burmese nationals Lin and Zaw Htun may have been made scapegoats for the crime.

The fundraising page, which has so far raised $1,300 of a $30,000 target, says: "Information given under duress, abuse or torture is unreliable. Real information must appear if justice in this case is to be done.

Everyone, including family and friends of the victims, want this case to be closed and the real perpetrators brought to justice. A fair trial requires rights of the accused be respected and that the accused have a legal team to defend them of a crime they may not have done."

A spokesman for doctors who examined the pair have rebuffed suggestions they were tortured and said their interrogation met international standards.

Parents of Zaw Htun have flown to Thailand where they met a Burmese embassy representative and a lawyer for the two accused.

The Bangkok Post quoted the parents telling reporters they were in Thailand to "seek justice''.