Backpacker Murders: Thai Prime Minster Says Women In Bikinis Aren't Safe - Unless They Are Ugly

17/09/2014 13:34 | Updated 17 September 2014

Thailand's prime minister has made the astounding claim that his country may not be safe for female tourists who wear bikinis, "unless they are not beautiful".

His comments come in the wake of the horrific killings of young Britons Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, who were found semi-naked on a Thai beach on Monday.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said that tourists, particularly women in bikinis, were mistaken if they thought Thailand was safe because it was beautiful.

Story continues below the video

He said: "There are always problems with tourist safety. They think our country is beautiful and is safe so they can do whatever they want, they can wear bikinis and walk everywhere.

But "can they be safe in bikinis... unless they are not beautiful?" he added.

The Prime Minister, who seized power in May 2014 in a military coup against the government, made the comments in a live televised speech on Wednesday.

hannah witheridge

Hannah Witheridge was beaten to death

Witheridge, 23, and Miller, 24, were found murdered on the popular backpacker island of Koh Tao.

Autopsies today revealed that Miller died from severe blows to the head and drowning, while Witheridge also experienced trauma to the head.

The post-mortem also revealed signs the Witheridge may have had recent sexual activity, but forensics experts do not believe she was raped.

hannah witheridge

The Ocean View Bungalows hotel where the pair were staying

Police are questioning a British man over their deaths and have carried out DNA tests to determine if he was involved in the killings.

The developments come as a British was questioned in relation to the murders. The man is the backpacker initially sought by police following the murders early on Monday, Police Colonel Kissana, deputy Thai police spokesman, said.

He was subjected to a physical examination including a DNA test.

david miller

David Miller

Mr Kissana said the man had not been arrested but was questioned earlier today and asked to remain on the island while police await the results of the tests.

He added that six Burmese nationals arrested over the incident after raids on their accommodation yesterday remain in police custody and have also undergone DNA testing.

Both of the victims' families released moving tributes to them. Witheridge's family said: "She was selfless and caring and made each and every day that little bit more wonderful. Our family are utterly devastated and shocked by what has happened to our beautiful Hannah."

David Miller's family said: "David was an artist by temperament, so talented. He had a creative eye that he carried with him through life and in his degree.

"He was hard-working, bright and conscientious, with everything to look forward to.

"David was very giving to his family and friends and we all adored him. He will be sorely, sorely missed."

Suggest a correction