2022-Myanmar junta executes leading democracy activists Ko Jimmy and Phyo Zayar Thaw


Veteran democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu, higher often called Ko Jimmy, and former Nationwide League for Democracy lawmaker Phyo Zayar Thaw have been executed, together with Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, the International New Mild of Myanmar reported, with out giving a date.

Their deaths mark the primary judicial executions within the nation in a long time, and human rights teams worry extra will observe. In keeping with Human Rights Watch, 114 individuals have been sentenced to loss of life in Myanmar because the navy seized energy in a coup in February 2021.

Ko Jimmy and Phyo Zayar Thaw have been accused by the navy of being “concerned in terrorist acts equivalent to explosion assaults, killing of civilians as informants,” junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun beforehand informed CNN. They have been sentenced to loss of life in January 2022, and final month Zaw Min Tun confirmed their appeals had been denied.

Civilian circumstances have been tried in navy courts with proceedings closed to the general public because the navy seized energy final yr, ousting the elected authorities and reversing nearly a decade of tentative democratic reforms.

Myanmar could see first executions in decades as junta says death sentences of two activists upheld

Rights teams say these secretive navy tribunals deny the prospect to a good trial and are designed for quick — and nearly sure — convictions, no matter proof.

United Nations Particular Rapporteur on the scenario of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, stated in a statement Monday he was “outraged and devastated” by the executions.

“My coronary heart goes out to their households, mates and family members and certainly all of the individuals of Myanmar who’re victims of the junta’s escalating atrocities,” he stated. “These people have been tried, convicted, and sentenced by a navy tribunal with out the best of attraction and reportedly with out authorized counsel, in violation of worldwide human rights legislation.”

Appearing Asia director for Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson, known as the executions “an act of utter cruelty,” that “adopted grossly unjust and politically motivated navy trials.”

“This horrific information was compounded by the junta’s failure to inform the boys’s households, who realized concerning the executions via the junta’s media reviews,” Pearson stated in an announcement Monday.

A spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-Normal António Guterres stated earlier the UN was “deeply troubled” by the choice to execute the boys, calling it a “blatant violation of the best to life, liberty and safety of particular person,” referring to an article within the Common Declaration of Human Rights.

Amnesty Worldwide stated it has recorded an “alarming” enhance within the variety of loss of life sentences within the nation because the takeover that it stated have been designed to “sow worry.”

Phyo Zayar Thaw, a lower house member for the National League for Democracy in Naypyidaw on August 24, 2015.

“The loss of life sentence has turn out to be certainly one of many appalling methods the Myanmar navy is making an attempt to sow worry amongst anybody who opposes its rule, and would add to the grave human rights violations, together with deadly violence focused at peaceable protesters and different civilians,” the group stated on Twitter in June.

An Amnesty report from 2021 stated the final judicial execution in Myanmar identified to have taken place was in 1988. There have been quite a few loss of life sentences within the nation since, however they’ve often been “commuted via mass pardons,” Amnesty stated.

CNN has been unable to independently confirm when the final execution by the state was carried out in Myanmar.

Outstanding activists

Phyo Zayar Thaw, 41, was previously a lawmaker in Myanmar’s decrease home of parliament for the then-ruling Nationwide League for Democracy — the get together of ousted state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.

Earlier than turning into a politician, Phyo Zayar Thaw was a well-liked hip hop artist and a founding member of pro-democracy youth group Technology Wave. He was imprisoned in 2008 by the earlier navy regime for his activism.

In November 2021, Phyo Zayar Thaw was arrested throughout a raid on an residence complicated in Myanmar’s largest metropolis, Yangon. He was accused of planning assaults on junta targets and charged underneath the Counterterrorism Regulation and the Public Property Safety Act, in line with native media.

Ko Jimmy grew to become a outstanding pupil activist in Myanmar throughout the mass standard rebellion towards the then-military regime in 1988. He spent about 15 years behind bars for his activism and involvement within the 8888 demonstrations and 2007 Saffron Revolution.

Myanmar political prisoner Kyaw Min Yu, center, and his wife Ni Lar Thein, left, upon their arrival at Yangon international airport following their release from detention on January 13, 2012.

In keeping with native media, Ko Jimmy was detained in October 2021, accused of organizing guerrilla assaults on junta targets and charged with treason and terrorism offenses. He was additionally needed by the regime for allegedly inciting unrest due to social media posts criticizing the coup.

Since seizing energy, the navy junta led by Min Aung Hlaing has launched into a bloody crackdown towards any opposition to its rule. Almost 15,000 individuals have been arrested and greater than 2,000 killed by navy forces in that point, in line with the Help Affiliation for Political Prisoners.
The navy has been accused of crimes towards humanity and struggle crimes by the US, UN and different worldwide our bodies because it makes an attempt to say management over the individuals, who proceed to wage a mass resistance marketing campaign.

“The junta’s barbarity and callous disregard for human life goals to relax the anti-coup protest motion,” Human Rights Watch’s Pearson stated Monday.

“European Union member states, the US, and different governments ought to present the junta that there shall be a reckoning for its crimes.”


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