Myanmar’s Military Coup Leaders Plan to Hang Political Prisoners

An alliance of nearly 200 local, regional and international community and humanitarian organizations issued a statement condemning Myanmar’s military-appointed State Administration Council’s order to execute by hanging four political prisoners.

The execution of the four political prisoners – Phyo Zeya Thaw, Ko Jimmy, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw – was confirmed by the military regime’s spokesperson, Zaw Min Tun when he speaking to local media. The Democratic Voice of Burma reported, Zaw Min Tun told the Voice of Myanmar, the executions would go ahead.

“They will be executed by hanging in accordance with the penal code. We already said they will get what they deserve. The death sentences will happen,”.

Kyaw Min Yu (also known as Ko Jimmy), an 88 Generation pro-democracy activist, and Phyo Zeyar Thaw, a National League for Democracy member of parliament, were sentenced to death by a military tribunal in January and charged with treason and terrorism.

The military regime’s spokesperson, Zaw Min Tun told reporters the other two men sentenced to death, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, will be executed for the murder of military informants.

The executions, if they go ahead as planned, will be Myanmar’s first in decades and have outraged international organisations including the UN, Amnesty International and Human Right Watch.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the military regime to withdraw the decision to hang the political prisoners. Human Rights Watch’s deputy director Phil Robertson said the executions confirmed Myanmar’s military regime as one Asia’s worst abusers of human rights.

A signatory of the statement put out by the alliance, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), has documented 114 political prisoners, including two children, have been given death sentences by the military regime.

AAPP, a not-for-profit organization that documents the arrests of Myanmar’s political prisoners and state-killings, reports as of 7th June, the military regime has killed 1,906 people and arrested another 14,032 since its coup on 1st February 2021.

The statement by the alliance said a military panel sentenced the four, “including former National League for Democracy (NLD) Member of Parliament Phyo Zeya Thaw and democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Ko Jimmy, for alleged “terrorism” while Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw are the other two who faced death sentenced earlier.”

The alliance statement, released by human rights advocates, Progressive Voices, noted in the “16 months the military launched its nationwide campaign of violence and terror in an attempt to illegally seize power, the military has killed over 2,000 people, including women and children and detained over 12,000.”

The alliance statement explained the military regime’s failure “to impose its rule over the territory and population, the military continues to intensify its cruel and brutal attacks against the people of Myanmar with indiscriminate airstrikes, shelling, massacres, burning down of villages, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence.”

The UN agency for refugees, UNHCR, estimates “as of 4 April 2022, there were an estimated 907,500 Internally Displaced persons (IDPs) across Myanmar including 560,900 newly displaced since 1 February 2021” military coup.

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