Burma’s military junta executed four democracy activists who were convicted of terrorist acts. This was swiftly condemned internationally by human rights organizations.
The four men were executed because they had committed “violent, inhuman acts of terror,” according to the Information Ministry. It was published a statement Sunday. These are the first executions by Burma for decades.
The ministry stated that executions were in compliance with the Anti-Terrorism Law’s relevant provisions, but didn’t specify when or where they took place.
Phyozeyar Thaw was a former lawmaker for Aung San Suu Kyi’s National Democracy League(NLD), and Kyaw Min Yu, a veteran democracy activist–also called Jimmy Ko-–were both executed in connection with terrorist-related offences.
The junta executed Hla Myo Aung as well as Aung Thura Zaw, who were accused of killing a Yangon military informant. After closed trial in April and January, all were found guilty of terrorist acts.
An act of ‘Utter Cruelty ‘
Human rights groups protested the executions by the junta of four people, alleging that the sentence they received was without appeal and with no legal counsel.
Elaine Pearson (acting Asia director, Human Rights Watch) called for immediate action, including the release all political prisoners in Burma, also known as Myanmar, and to make the military regime responsible for their atrocities.
” The execution by the Myanmar junta of four men is an act of utter cruellity,” Pearson stated in a declaration. These executions included of activist Ko Jimmy as well as opposition lawmaker Phyozeya Thaw. They were carried out following grossly unfair and politically motivated military trials .”
” The junta’s barbarism and disregard for the human body aims to discredit the anti-coup movement. She said that the European Union members, United States and other countries should demonstrate to the junta their support for the cause of justice.
The special UN envoy Tom Andrews condemned the executions by the junta of democracy activists. He urged U.N. member countries to condemn the “widespread, systematic murders and executions” of protestors and activists.
” I am shocked and devasted by the news that the junta has executed Myanmar patriots, and champions for human rights and democracy,” Andrews stated in an email.
” These depraved acts should be a turning point in the international community. He added that the junta must do more before international action is possible.
According to AAPP (Assistance Association for Political Prisoners), each family member was not informed by the junta about the location and status of military courts, as well as the nature of trials.
” The execution announcement mocked efforts by the international community to abolish capital punishment. This calculated act uses political prisoners as hostage, to threaten a population resisting the military coup,” the AAPP said in a June statement.
The military junta ousted the elected NLD Party in February 2021, sparking widespread anti-coup protests in Burma. At least 1,600 people have been killed and more than 12,500 people have been detained since the military seized power, according to a March UN report.
Rohingya ‘Genocide’ Case
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 22 rejected all of Burma’s preliminary objections to a case alleging that the military-ruled nation committed genocide against the Rohingya ethnic minority.
The West African country The Gambia filed the case in November 2019, alleging that Burma committed genocidal acts against the minority to “destroy the Rohingya group in whole or in part.”
The Burmese government made four objections in order to contest the court’s authority and the admissibility the application. They stated that The Gambia did not have the standing to file the case before the ICJ.
The court unanimously rejected three of Burma’s objections (pdf) and one objection by a 15-1 majority. Joan Donoghue, President of the ICJ, stated that the court is competent to hear the case. She also said that The Gambia’s request was acceptable .”
The court could grant the case the merits hearing after rejecting Burma’s initial objections.
Aldgra Frederickly is a freelance journalist based in Malaysia. He covers Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.