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Myanmar executes four democracy activists to blame and anger

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(Corrected paragraph 2 to clarify the timing of the trial)

(Reuters)-Myanmar’s junta said on Monday that it had executed four democracy activists accused of supporting the execution of “terrorist acts” in the executions of Southeast Asian countries for the first time in decades.

Four men sentenced to death in private trials in January and April accused the militia of seizing power in last year’s coup and helping the militia fight an army that unleashed a bloody crackdown on the enemy. It had been.

Myanmar’s National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG), a shadowy government outlawed by the ruling party Junta, has condemned executions and called for international action against Myanmar’s Junta.

“I’m very sad … condemning Hunta’s cruelty,” NUG Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Cau Sau told Reuters in a message. “The global community must punish their cruelty.”

Caricatures about world leaders

Among those implemented were the democratic figure known as Jimmy, Kyaw Min Yu, and former legislator and hip-hop artist Fyoze Yaso, Myanmar’s Global Newlight newspaper said.

Kyaw Min Yu, 53, and Phyo Zeya Thaw, a 41-year-old ally of exiled Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, lost their appeal against the ruling in June. The other two performed were Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw.

“Myanmar’s patriots and defenders of human rights and democracy have been resented and overwhelmed by the news that they have been executed by the military government,” said Tom Andrews, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar. Said.

“My heart is directed at their families, friends, and loved ones, and, in fact, all those in Myanmar who are victims of the intensifying atrocities of the junta … these corrupt acts It must be a turning point in the international community. “

Thazin Nyunt Aung, wife of PhyoZeyar Thaw, said she was not informed of her husband’s death penalty. Other relatives were not immediately asked for comment.

The man was detained in the colonial Insein Prison, and those who knew the case said his family visited the prison last Friday. Only one relative was allowed to speak to the detainees via the Zoom online platform, he said.

Myanmar’s state media reported the execution on Monday, and military junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun later confirmed the execution to the Voice of Myanmar. Neither gave details about when the execution took place.

Previous executions in Myanmar were by hanging.

The Burmese Political Prisoner Assistance Association (AAPP), a group of activists, said Myanmar’s last judicial enforcement was in the late 1980s.

International blame

Last month, Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun defended the death penalty, saying it was justified and used in many countries.

“At least 50 innocent civilians, excluding security forces, have died for them,” he said at a television press conference.

“How can I say this is not justice?” He asked. “The action you need must be taken at the moment you need it.”

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), expressed deep concern among Myanmar’s neighbors in a letter in June and appealed to the leader of the military government, Min Aung Hlaing, not to carry out executions. rice field.

Myanmar’s ruling party has accused foreign statements of enforcement orders of being “recklessly interfering.”

Myanmar has been in turmoil since last year’s coup, and the conflict spread nationwide after the military subdued almost peaceful protests in the city.

“These horrific executions were murders. They are part of crimes against humanity and attacks on civilians,” Matthew Smith, head of fortification rights in Southeast Asia, told Reuters.

“It would be completely wrong to think that this would instill fear in the center of the revolution.”

AAPP states that more than 2,100 people have been killed by security forces since the coup. The junta says the numbers are exaggerated.

It was difficult to assess the true nature of the violence, as conflicts were widespread in remote areas where ethnic minority rebel groups were also fighting the army.

Last Friday, a world court dismissed Myanmar’s objection to the mass slaughter case over the treatment of the Muslim Rohingya minority, paving the way for a full trial of the case.

The recent executions have blocked the possibility of ending domestic unrest, said Richard Horsey, a Myanmar analyst at the International Crisis Group.

“All the possibilities of dialogue to end the crisis caused by the coup have been ruled out,” Horsey told Reuters.

“This is a system that demonstrates that it does what it wants and doesn’t listen to anyone. It’s considered a demonstration of strength, but it can be a serious miscalculation.”

Elaine Pearson, Deputy Director of Asia at Human Rights Watch, said the execution was aimed at chilling the anti-coup movement.

“European Union member states, the United States, and other governments should show the junta that there is a calculation of the crime,” Pearson said.

“They should demand immediate action, including the release of all political prisoners, and inform the junta that the atrocities they commit will have consequences.”

(This story is amended to amend paragraph 2 to clarify the timing of the trial)

(Report by Reuters staff, written by Ed Davis and Michael Perry, edited by Lincoln Feast and Clarence Fernandez)

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