International condemnation after Myanmar executes activists

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International condemnation after Myanmar executes activists

The executions under the military-led government are the first in decades and raise fears of more to come.

Kyaw Min Yu, known as ‘Jimmy’ was among four prisoners executed by Myanmar’s military-led government [Soe Than Win/AFP]

Published On 25 Jul 202225 Jul 2022

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Updated: 

13 hours ago

International condemnation has grown in the wake of an announcement from Myanmar’s military-led government that it had executed four pro-democracy activists – the country’s first known executions in decades.

Myanmar’s military said the executed men had helped to carry out “brutal and inhumane terror acts”, the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported. It did not specify how the four had been killed. The military-led government later confirmed the situation “is as stated in the state media”.

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The US embassy in Yangon said on Monday prominent activist 53-year-old Kyaw Min Yu and former legislator 41-year-old Phyo Zeya Thaw, as well as protesters Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zar, had been executed for “exercising their fundamental freedoms”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday denounced the executions as “reprehensible” and said the killings would not hinder the movement for democracy.

“These reprehensible acts of violence further exemplify the regime’s complete disregard for human rights and the rule of law,” Blinken said in a statement.

“The regime’s sham trials and these executions are blatant attempts to extinguish democracy; these actions will never suppress the spirit of the brave people of [Myanmar],” Blinken said.

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In a statement, the foreign ministry of Japan, which had for decades maintained close ties with Myanmar that have frayed in recent months, said it “seriously deplores” the executions and warned the act will further isolate the military-led government, which has already faced a raft of sanctions from Western powers since taking control in a February 2021 coup and arresting State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

Even China, which has reportedly sought to protect its longtime ally at the United Nations, called on officials to properly resolve conflicts within the country’s constitutional framework, with foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also reiterating Beijing’s long-held principle of non-interference.

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Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former legislator from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD)m had been arrested in November and sentenced to death in January for offences under anti-terrorism laws. Democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu – better known as “J

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