Myanmar executes four anti-coup activists: State media | Human Rights News

The reported executions mark the first use of the death penalty in the Southeast Asian country since the 1980s.

According to state media, Myanmar’s military junta executed four anti-coup activists, marking the first use of the death penalty in the Southeast Asian country in decades.

Four men, including a former lawmaker from the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, have been executed for their involvement in organizing “brutal and inhuman acts of terrorism”. , Myanmar’s Global New Light newspaper reported on Monday.

These men were sentenced to death in a closed-door trial in January after being accused of aiding militias fighting the army, which seized power in a February 2021 coup led by Gen. Min Aung Hlaing led.

Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former lawmaker from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party, and prominent democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu have been found guilty of violating anti-terrorism laws.

Thaw, a hip-hop artist previously detained for his lyrics, has been accused of leading attacks on security forces, including a shooting on a commuter train. in Yangon in August, killing five policemen.

Two other men, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, were sentenced to death for the alleged murder of a woman they accused of providing information to the military junta in Yangon.

The death sentences have received condemnation from human rights groups, the United States, France and the United Nations, with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres describing the planned executions as “a violation of flagrant violation of the right to life.”

Government, yes Sentenced to death dozens of activists since the coupProtecting planned executions is legal and necessary.

“At least 50 innocent civilians, not including security forces, have died because of them,” army spokesman Zaw Min Tun told a televised news conference last month. “How can you say this is not justice?”

The last judicial executions in Myanmar took place in the late 1980s, according to the Association to Support Political Prisoners (AAPP), an activist group.

In the past, executions in Myanmar were carried out by hanging.

‘Blessed act of cruelty’

Yadanar Maung, a spokesman for Justice For Myanmar, said the executions were crimes against humanity and called for further sanctions against the ruling State Management Council.

“All perpetrators from Min Aung Hlaing and below must be held accountable for this brazen act of cruelty,” Maung told Al Jazeera.

“The international community must act now to end the complete retribution of the terrorist army. The international response to these executions and other international crimes by the military must involve coordinated targeted sanctions against governments and their business interests, bans jet fuel and a global arms embargo. Sanctions must be imposed on Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, to prevent oil and gas funds from paying for military atrocities. “

Thomas Andrews, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said he was “outraged and devastated” by the executions.

“My heart goes out to their families, friends and loved ones and indeed all the people in Myanmar who are victims of the increasing atrocities by the military… These corrupt acts must be a turning point for the international community.”

An army spokesman did not return calls seeking comment.

Myanmar has been plagued by conflict since last year’s coup, with Violence spread across the country after the army quashed most of the peaceful protests in the cities.

More than 2,100 people have been killed by security forces since the coup, according to the AAPP. The government has said that number is exaggerated.

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