Myanmar junta executes four men, including two opposition figures

Burmese junta executes four men, including two opposition figures

Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former National League for Democracy MP, in 2012. He and three others were executed, state media said Monday.

Burma's junta has executed four prisoners, including a former pro-democracy lawmaker from Aung San Suu Kyi's party and a prominent opponent, state media said Monday , the first application of the death penalty in Myanmar for more than three decades.

All four had been convicted of brutal and inhumane acts of terror and the executions followed prison procedures, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar claimed, without specifying how or when they took place.

A spokesperson for the junta did not respond to requests from AFP.

Since the February 1, 2021 military coup, dozens of opponents of the junta have been sentenced to death, but no executions have taken place so far. These executions aroused strong condemnations around the world, the head of the American diplomacy Antony Blinken denouncing in particular the total disregard of the regime for human rights and the rule of law.

Phyo Zeya Thaw, 41, a former National League for Democracy (NLD) MP, was arrested in November and convicted in January of violating the anti-terrorism law.

This pioneer of hip-hop in Myanmar, whose lyrics were already critical of the army in the early 2000s, had been imprisoned in 2008 for membership of an illegal organization and possession of foreign currency.

He won a deputy seat in the 2015 elections, during the transition from military power to civilian government.

A soldier walks past a detainee during a protest against the military coup in Mandalay, March 3, 2021.

The junta accused him of orchestrating several attacks against the regime, including an attack on a train in which five policemen were killed last August in Rangoon.

Kyaw Min Yu, 53, said Jimmy, was a writer and lifelong opponent of the military, famous for his role in the 1988 student uprising against the then junta. He was arrested in October and sentenced in January.

According to local media, family members of the two men gathered outside Insein prison in Rangoon, where they were being held, hoping to get their bodies back.

The other two prisoners executed are two men accused of killing a woman they suspected of being a junta informant.

The junta had done knowing last month that it intended to carry out these executions, despite warnings from the international community.

The last execution in Myanmar was in 1988, according to a report by #x27;UN experts in June, which counted 114 death sentences since the coup.

These experts had warned that the executions could accelerate if the international community did not react.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Homme called the measure ordered by the junta cruel and regressive.

“I am appalled that despite calls from around the world, the soldiers carried out these executions without any regard for human rights. »

— Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

France has denounced a major regression and a new stage in the escalation atrocities committed by the Burmese junta since the coup.

Josep Borrell, the head of EU diplomacy, condemned executions on the grounds policies, which represent a new step towards the complete dismantling of the rule of law and a new flagrant violation of human rights in Burma.

For US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, this reprehensible violence demonstrates the regime's utter disregard for human rights and the rule of law.

In addition to the countless atrocities against the Burmese people, the military junta has brazenly committed another outrageous crime […] ignoring the demands of the international community and those who demand justice, reacted the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy, devastated by the news.

This is an act of the utmost cruelty, for Elaine Pearson, the director for Asia of the NGO Human Rights Watch.

Burmese soldier stands guard following clashes in the town of Hpruso, in December 2021.

These executions […] are yet another example of Burma's atrocious human rights record. […] The military will continue to trample on people's lives until they are held accountable, said Erwin Van der Borght, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director.

These executions risk accentuating the international isolation of the Burmese military, who seized power by force on February 1, 2021 under the pretext of alleged fraud in the elections of the previous year, won overwhelmingly by the NLD.

The junta continues a bloody crackdown, with more than 2,000 civilians killed and more than 15,000 arrested since the coup. #x27;State, according to a local NGO.

Among those arrested is former leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, 77, who faces on several charges that could result in him up to 150 years in prison in total.

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