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‘Vile’: Democracy activists killed in Myanmar’s first executions in decades

State media reported that four Myanmar military officials executed four democracy activists who were accused of aiding in “terror acts”.

In January, the four men were sentenced to death for helping militias fight the army that took power last year in a coup.

These executions are the first in Southeast Asia in decades and were condemned by international experts. Two UN experts called them “vile attempts to instill fear” among the people.

According to the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper, among those executed were Kyaw Min Yu (better known as Jimmy) and Phyo Zeya Thaw (an ex-politician and hip-hop artist).

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Image by Kyaw Min Yu. Pic by Associated Press

Kyaw Min Yu (53), and Phyozeya Thaw (41), were both dismissed in June.

Hla Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw were the other two executed men.

According to the newspaper, the anti-terrorism law had been applied to the four men and that the punishment was “conducted in prison procedures”.

More information about Myanmar

Image: Phyozeya Thaw and then Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Pic by Associated Press

Burma Campaign UK stated that it was “deeply sorry” to hear of the news.

Wai Hnin Pwint Thon is the senior advocacy officer of the campaign organisation. He said, “This is a very sad day for loved ones of those executed.”

“I knew Ko Jimmy all my life. He was an inspiration to us.” He dedicated his entire life to democracy and freedom for Burmese people.

Erwin van der Borght is Amnesty International’s Regional Director. He stated that executions are an arbitrary deprivation and another example of Myanmar’s atrocious human right record.

“The military court convicted the four men in secretive and unfair trials.

“The international community needs to act immediately, as more than 100 people are suspected to be on death row following similar trials.”

In Myanmar, executions were previously done by hanging.

An activist group, the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners or AAPP, stated that the last executions in Myanmar were in the 1980s.

Thazin Nyunt, Thaw’s wife, claimed she was not informed about her husband’s execution.

International protests and concern grew over the decision to execute the prisoners, which was also addressed by Hun Sen, Cambodia’s Prime Minister.

Hun Sen, currently chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is leading efforts by the group to end the Myanmar crisis. This letter was unusual, as Southeast Asian governments seldom issue statements that could be deemed critical of one another’s internal affairs.

Since last year’s coup, Myanmar has been in chaos. After her second consecutive landslide victory at polls, the military overthrew Ms. Suu Kyi’s elected government in February 2021.

Image Civilians prepare to fight unpopular military leaders



Myanmar massacre – Who is telling the truth?

Detention was made for many democratically elected politicians, including and Ms Suu Kyi.

Others fled or were forced to hide.

According to the military regime, concerns about widespread electoral fraud in 2020’s vote prompted it to declare a state emergency and take power.

According to the AAPP, more than 2,100 people were killed by security forces since the coup. The junta claims this figure is exaggerated.

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