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Myanmar is executing four anti-coup activists and raising anger | Human Rights News

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The reported executions show that the death penalty has been used for the first time in Southeast Asian countries since the 1980s.

Myanmar’s junta has executed four anti-coup activists, including a close ally of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, causing widespread criticism and anger.

Four men were executed for their involvement in organizing “brutal and inhumane acts of terrorism,” the state-owned Myanmar Global New Light newspaper reported Monday.

The man was sentenced to death in a private trial in January after being accused of militia support in a fight with troops in power in a February 2021 coup led by Senior General Min Aung Rhein.

Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party in Suu Kyi, and Kyaw Min Yu, a prominent democracy activist, have been convicted of crimes under the Counterterrorism Act.

Hip-hop artist Thaw, previously detained in lyrics, was accused of leading an attack on security forces, including the death of five police officers after being shot on a commuter train in Yangon in August.

Two other men, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, were sentenced to death for murdering a woman accused of being an informant for the Yangon junta.

Executions show that Southeast Asian countries have been executed for the first time in decades.

According to the activist group Burmese Political Prisoners Assistance Association (AAPP), the last judicial enforcement took place in the late 1980s.

Executions in Myanmar were previously hanged.

“Cruel Brazilian Action”

Myanmar Justice spokesman Yadanar Maung said the death penalty was a crime against humanity and called for further sanctions on the ruling State Administration Council.

“All perpetrators of the Min Aung Hlaing linedown must be held liable for this brave atrocities,” Maun told Al Jazeera.

“The international community must now act to end the complete immunity of terrorist Junta. The junta and its international response to these executions and other international crimes of the junta It must include coordinated and targeted sanctions on business interests, a ban on jet fuels, and a global arms ban. To prevent the Oil and Gas Fund from financing Junta’s atrocities. Sanctions must be imposed on Myanmar oil and gas companies. “

Myanmar’s UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Thomas Andrews, said he was “indignated and devastated” about the execution.

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

A military spokesperson did not answer the phone for comment.

The man’s death sentence was criticized by human rights groups, the United States, France and the United Nations, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the planned execution as “a blatant breach of his right to life.”

The government, which has sentenced dozens of activists to death since the coup, has defended planned executions as legal and necessary.

“At least 50 innocent civilians, excluding security forces, have died for them,” military spokesman Zaw Min Tun told a television press conference last month. “How can I say this is not justice?”

Myanmar has been plagued by conflict since it expelled Soo Chi from power in a coup last year, and violence spread nationwide after the military subdued most peaceful protests in the city.

According to AAPP, more than 2,100 people have been killed by security forces since the coup. The government says the numbers are exaggerated.