Burma, four pro-democracy activists executed

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Four Burmese activists for democracy were executed on charges of collaborating in organizing “terrorist acts”: these are the first executions of political prisoners since the 1980s. The news was confirmed by state media in Myanmar, where the military junta that ousted the democratic government led by Aung San Suu Kyi has been in power since February 2021. The four executed activists are former parliamentarian and hip-hop artist Phyo Zeya Thaw (41), Kyaw Min Yu (53), Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw.

Who are the people executed

Phyo Zeya Thaw – who in 2015 was elected to the ranks of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy – was convicted of organizing some armed attacks on security forces. Kyaw Min Yu, on the other hand, was found guilty of inciting armed resistance with messages on social media critical of the regime. The four executed activists were sentenced in a closed-door verdict last August, and their appeal was dismissed in June.

The numbers of executions in Burma

According to the Burmese-language service of the Voice of America broadcaster, at least 113 activists are awaiting execution after the death sentences handed down under the military regime of General Min Aung Hlain. It is estimated that at least 2,000 people have been killed by the regime since the coup in February 2021. An exact count of the victims is made impossible by the fact that the armed resistance has moved to the countryside, joining in many cases the ethnic militias engaged for decades in conflicts with the central army, which denies them greater autonomy in the border areas.

Hrw: executions Giunta act of absolute cruelty

The execution by the Burmese junta of four men, including a former member of parliament and a prominent democracy activist, was “an act of utter cruelty,” says Elaine Pearson, interim director for Asia at Human Rights Watch, addressing the international community to ask to “show the council that there will be a showdown for its crimes”.