Four democracy activists have been executed in Myanmar, in the latest affront on people’s rights ever since the junta ousted and jailed Aung San Suu Kyi. The executed activists include a former lawmaker from Suu Kyi’s party.
This marks the first time Myanmar has used capital punishment in decades, according to Reuters. Numerous rights activists and pro-democracy protesters had been jailed in the last several months, and many of them had been sentenced to death. However, Myanmar watchers never really believed that the executions would actually take place.
Myanmar’s state media said on Monday the activists were executed for leading brutal and inhumane terror acts. The Global New Light of Myanmar further reported that the executions were carried out under the prison’s procedure”.
Former lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw was arrested in November and sentenced to death in January. The member of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party was accused of offences under anti-terrorism laws. Phyo Zeya was elected to Myanmar’s parliament in the 2015 election.
Another prominent democracy activist executed on Saturday was Kyaw Min Yu, also known as Jimmy. He was also convicted of terrorism charges by the military tribunal.
Two others were also executed, after having been convicted of killing a woman they accused of being informants to the junta.
After the NLD won landslide victory in the 2020 elections, the military leveled voter fraud charges against the Suu Kyi-led government and ousted it last year, triggering months-long, countrywide protests that slipped into bloody violence.
Suu Kyi was detained immediately after the overthrow and has since been slapped with various charges that attract as many as 150 years in prison for the former leader.