On 25th July, Myanmar’s military regime announced to the world that they had executed four activists for “terror acts.”
All four individuals have had a history of protesting against the military regime. Kyaw Min Yu was a student leader since 1988 who had spent 21 years in prison. Phyo Zeya Thaw was a politician from the National League of Democracy, before which he was a hip-hop artist. Both of them have been convicted on counter-terrorism charges. Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw had been arrested and convicted for killing a suspected army informant. Yu and Thaw were popular anti-military leaders; their deaths shocked the country’s protestors. The regime has informed of the executions, though the time or manner has not been revealed.
#Myanmar military, Tatmadaw, had ousted the democratic government under Aung San Suu Kyi in early 2021, staging a coup. People across the country have protested, and the regime has ruthlessly tried to suppress them. They have issued at least 115 death sentences since taking over, these four being the first to be carried out. These have been the first death sentences carried out in Myanmar since 1976.
The executions have attracted international reactions, with the UN Security Council calling for releasing all political prisoners. Asian countries like Cambodia, Malaysia, and Japan have condemned the act. The #Junta has defended the executions as “justice for the people” and claimed that the prisoners deserved “many death sentences.” Family members of those executed were not informed of the executions beforehand, nor were they allowed to retrieve the bodies.
Dr Maung Zarni, a Burmese said, “the (Myanmar) regime that only 6 years ago violated all grave crimes in international law – including genocide against a national minority #Rohingyas – has once again proven capable of such cold-blooded murder of our fellow activists in the name of law.”
The Burmese resistance groups have called for a more robust international response and claimed they would continue their anti-Junta activities, despite the brutality of the military.