NLD lawmaker, student activist among 4 executed in Myanmar
Myanmar’s military government has executed four prisoners, including a former lawmaker from Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, state media reported on Monday.
This is the country’s first use of capital punishment in decades.
The four were executed for allegedly leading “brutal and inhumane terror acts”, the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.
The paper added the executions were carried out “under the prison’s procedure”, without explaining when or how the four men were killed.
The military government has sentenced dozens of anti-coup activists to death as part of its crackdown on dissent after seizing power last year.
Meanwhile, global powers responded with condemnation when the junta announced the planned executions last month.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres slammed the junta’s decision, saying it was “a blatant violation to the right to life, liberty and security of person”.
The four executed included Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former lawmaker from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD). He was arrested in November and sentenced to death in January for allegedly orchestrating several attacks on regime forces, including a gun attack on a commuter train in Yangon last August that killed five policemen.
A hip-hop pioneer whose subversive rhymes irked the previous military government, he was jailed in 2008 for membership in an illegal organisation and possession of foreign currency.
He was elected to parliament representing Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD in the 2015 elections, which ushered in a transition to civilian rule.
The second person to lose his life was prominent democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu – better known as “Jimmy”.
Kyaw Min Yu, who rose to prominence during Myanmar’s 1988 student uprising against the previous military regime, was arrested in an overnight raid in October.
The two other men were sentenced to death for allegedly killing a woman believed to be a junta informer.
The country’s military justified its February 1, 2021, coup by claiming voter fraud during the 2020 elections, which the NLD won by a landslide.
Suu Kyi has been detained since then and faces a slew of charges in a military court that could see her in prison for more than 150 years.
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