It's the definition of victim blaming: Thailand's military ruler reportedly announced that attractive female visitors should avoid bikinis — because it could attract unwanted attention... or murderers.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's comments were made following the death of two British tourists, David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, who were killed this week after attending a beach party on the island of Koh Tao. The AFP quoted him as saying the following during a live broadcast on tourist safety:
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. Can they be safe in bikinis... unless they are not beautiful?"
In another interview with the Bangkok Post, he said the media needs to "explain to foreigners that it is not always safe everywhere. They think it's safe like where they are from, everywhere and at any time, but our country still has problems."
In response, British local government minister Brandon Lewis told the Daily Mail Chan-ocha should turn his attention elsewhere if he's unhappy with the negative attention leveled at Thailand.
"I have not seen anything indicating that there should be any blame on the victims and right now the investigation will hopefully be targeted on finding the perpetrator of the crime," he said. "I hope the focus will be on bringing whoever committed this barbaric crime to justice."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.