Myanmar’s military junta on Monday (Jul 25) said it had executed four democracy activists accused of helping to carry out “terror acts” in the Southeast Asian nation’s first executions in decades, sparking widespread condemnation.
Sentenced to death in closed-door trials in January and April, the four men had been accused of helping militias to fight the army that seized power in a coup last year and unleashed a bloody crackdown on its opponents.
Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG), a shadow administration outlawed by the ruling military junta, condemned the executions and called for international action against Myanmar’s junta.
“Extremely saddened … condemn the junta’s cruelty,” the NUG president’s office spokesman Kyaw Zaw told Reuters via message. “The global community must punish their cruelty.”
Among those executed were democracy figure Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Jimmy, and former lawmaker and hip-hop artist Phyo Zeya Thaw, the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.
Kyaw Min Yu, 53, and Phyo Zeya Thaw, a 41-year-old ally of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, lost their appeals against the sentences in June. The two others executed were Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw.
“I am outraged and devastated at the news of the junta’s execution of Myanmar patriots and champions of human rights and democracy,” Tom Andrews, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said in a statement.