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Slain tourist Hannah Witheridge's funeral held in England

Hannah Witheridge, the 23-year-old British backpacker who was murdered on a Thai beach Sept. 15, was buried Friday in her hometown of Norfolk.

By JC Finley

LONDON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- A funeral was held Friday for British tourist Hannah Witheridge, who was murdered Sept. 15 on a beach in Thailand alongside fellow Briton David Miller.

The funeral service was held in her hometown of Norfolk Friday morning, with her family instructing mourners to treat the sad occasion as a celebration of the 23-year-old's life, calling it "Hannah's Party," and asking mourners to dress in bright colors.

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White ponies, adorned with purple feathers, led the funeral cortege from her home to the village church, where Rev. Charles Powles presided over the service and her father Tony, sisters Tania and Laura, and brother Paul gave readings.

A private burial followed the service.

Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is defending the police investigation into the murders of Witheridge and Miller on the resort island of Koh Tao after the two suspects recanted their confessions.

Zaw Lin and Win Zaq Htun claim they confessed to the murders under duress. Their attorney, Aung Myo Thant, a lawyer from the Myanmar Embassy, was quoted in a Thai newspaper as saying, "They said they didn't do it, that the Thai police [along with their Myanmar-Thai translator] beat them until they confessed to something they didn't do."

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The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was "concerned" by the claims of mistreatment and voiced those concerns with authorities.

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