Myanmar claims it will execute its first execution in decades

BANGKOK -- Myanmar’s military-installed government announced Friday it would execute an ex-lawmaker from the party of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and a veteran pro-democracy activist convicted for violating the country’s Counter-Terrorism Law.

Myanmar claims it will execute its first execution in decades

BANGKOK -- Myanmar’s military-installed government announced Friday it would execute an ex-lawmaker from the party of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and a veteran pro-democracy activist convicted for violating the country’s Counter-Terrorism Law. Local media reported Friday.

Voice of Myanmar and NP News both reported that two other men convicted of the murder of a woman believed to be an informer for military intelligence will be executed along with former lawmaker Phyozeya Thaw, and activist Kyaw Min Yu (also known as Ko Jimmy).

Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Ton, the spokesperson for the Government, stated that the decision to execute the hangings was made after the appeals of the four had been rejected.

According to him, the executions would proceed in compliance with prison procedures. The law requires that executions be approved by the head government. He didn't specify when executions would take place.

The United Nations, who has fought against the death penalty called the Myanmar military's decision not to execute two pro-democracy activists "a flagrant violation" of the rights to life, liberty, and security guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the U.N., said that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has reiterated his call for all charges against anyone arrested for exercising fundamental freedoms. He also demanded that all political prisoners in Myanmar be freed immediately.

Dujarric stated that the U.N. chief calls for respect for people's freedom of expression and opinion. He also stressed that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights "enshrines the principles of equal before the law and the presumption of innocent, the right for fair and public hearings by an impartial tribunal and all the guarantees necessary to defend a person."

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (which tracks arrests and state-conducted murders), Myanmar courts have sentenced death to 114 political offenders since February 2013, when the army overtook Suu Kyi's elected government.

The army's takeover in 2013 sparked widespread protests. These protests turned into a low-level rebellion after peaceful demonstrations were crushed by the security forces. According to the Assistance Association, 1,887 civilians were killed by police and military forces in their crackdowns on opponents of military rule.

Some resistance groups have been involved in drive-by shootings, assassinations and bombings in urban areas. These activities are generally not supported by mainstream opposition groups, but they do support armed resistance in rural areas that are more vulnerable to military strikes.

It is widely believed that Salai Tin Maung Oo was the last Myanmar political offender to be executed in a judicial execution. He was executed in 1976 by a military government headed by Ne Win.

The sentences of death row prisoners were converted to life imprisonment in 2014. However, several dozen convicts were sentenced to death between that time and last year's takeover.

Phyo Zeya Thaw (also known as Maung Kyaw), and Kyaw Min Yu, a former lawmaker were sentenced to death under the country’s Counterterrorism Law. They were executed in a military court. They were found guilty for offenses involving explosives bombings and financing terrorist.

Phyo Zeya Thaw was a hip-hop artist before joining Generation Wave, a political group formed in 2007.

According to a report in the state-run newspaper, he was charged with possessing weapons or ammunition. According to the newspaper, he was arrested based on information from people who were detained for shooting security personnel a day before.

According to other statements, he was accused of being part of a network that included dozens of people who allegedly committed what the military called "terrorist attacks" in Yangon. Yangon is the largest city in the country.

After being charged with illegal association and possession foreign currency, he was previously jailed under another military government in 2008.

Kyaw Min Yu, a leader of the 88 Generation Students Group is a veteran of a failed 1988 popular rebellion against military rule.

Since then, he has been politically active and has spent more than 12 years behind bars. He was detained in Yangon last Oct.

According to state media, Kyaw Min Yu was accused of "conducting terrorist acts including mine attacks to undermine state stability" as well as leading a group called the "Moon Light Operation" that carried out urban guerrilla attack.

He was wanted for postings on social media that allegedly incited violence.

Hla Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw were sentenced to death for allegedly torturing, and then killing, a Yangon woman. According to an April 2021 statement by the Office of the Commander in Chief of Defense Services, they targeted her as an alleged military informant and killed her in February 2021.

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