Myanmar Military Executes Democracy Activists

The military in Myanmar has reportedly murdered four pro-democracy campaigners in what is thought to be the first execution in decades. The four, which also included the politician Phyo Zeya Thaw and the activist Ko Jimmy, were charged with performing “terror actions.” In an unfair trial conducted behind closed doors, they were given the death penalty.A source told the BBC’s Burmese Service that after hearing the news, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was extremely depressed.

The source also stated that Ms. Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy (NLD) party’s leader, made no remarks. In February 2021, after an army-led coup, she was detained. Families of the deceased met on Monday at Insein jail in a desperate attempt to learn more about their loved ones. The mother of Zayar Thaw claims that she was not informed of the the time of her son’s execution and that this prevented her from making appropriate customary funeral arrangements. In June, Phyo Zeya Thaw and Ko Jimmy were both unsuccessful in their appeals against their sentences.

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The two other campaigners, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, are less well-known. For the murder of a woman who was allegedly an informer for the junta, they received a death sentence. Suu Kyi’s political party won a landslide victory in the general election, which the military claimed was manipulated. Election commission officials refuted this assertion, saying there was no proof of fraud. Suu Kyi has been held under house arrest since the coup and has been charged with a slew of crimes, including corruption and breaking the nation’s official secrets laws, for which she faces sentences of up to 150 years.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which maintains track of those who have been slain, imprisoned, or detained by the military, 14,847 persons have been detained since the coup, and military personnel are believed to have killed 2114 of them. “My son was happy and healthy last Friday when we spoke on Zoom. I delivered his reading glasses, dictionary, and some cash to the prison today after he asked me to send them “The BBC’s Burmese Service was informed by Khin Win May. “I didn’t believe they would kill him because of this. I refused to believe it.”

The sister of Ko Jimmy, whose real name is Kyaw Min Yu, had earlier claimed that the remains had not yet arrived. Each family has requested information about the executions through an application. The four men were executed, according to Myanmar’s official news site Global News Light, because they “issued orders, formulated plans, and conspired for barbaric and inhumane terror activities.”

Who is in charge in Myanmar and who ordered the activists to be killed?

It stated that they had been accused of breaking anti-terrorism legislation, but it did not specify when or how they were put to death. According to the United Nations, these executions are the first since 1988. In the past, hanging has been the method of execution in Myanmar (also known as Burma).A military crackdown on pro-democracy protestors, activists, and journalists followed the country’s military coup in 2021, which resulted in widespread protests.

“Shocked and depressed,”

Human rights organisations and opposition groups reacted angrily to the news of the murder. UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar Tom Andrews said, “I am appalled and devastated at the news of the junta’s death of Myanmar patriots and defenders of human rights and democracy.” “The world community must pay its attention to these heinous deeds.” The murders left the shadow National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG) “very horrified and saddened.”

The NUG, an organisation that was created in response to the military coup of 2021 and consists of pro-democracy activists, members of armed ethnic groups, and former parliamentarians, pleaded with the world community to “punish (the) homicidal military dictatorship for their cruelty and deaths.”

Who were the defendants?

53-year-old Ko Jimmy was a former member of the 88 Generation Students Group, a pro-democracy movement in Burma that gained notoriety for its action against the military regime during the 1988 student riots. He and his wife, the pro-democracy activist Nilar Thein, were seen as some of the movement’s forerunners .Ko Jimmy and his wife organised activists and protestors from the 1988 demonstrations to participate when monks led rallies    against the regime in 2007. For his activities, he spent several terms in prison before being freed in 2012.

He was detained in October of last year on suspicion of keeping weapons and ammo hidden in a Yangon flat and serving as an advisor to the National Unity Government. A former hip-hop artist who is now a member of the NLD is Phyo Zeya Thaw, 41. His lyrics bearing veiled criticisms of the military in the first hip-hop record ever released by his band Acid angered the junta. He grew closer to Aung San Suu Kyi, a proponent of democracy, over time, and frequently travelled with her to talks with world leaders. He was detained in November on suspicion of anti-terrorist offences.

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