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Myanmar Executes Four Anti-Coup Activists, Drawing Outrage

Myanmar Executes Four Anti-Coup Activists, Drawing Outrage
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By Staff, Agencies

Myanmar’s military government has executed four anti-coup activists, including a close ally of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, drawing widespread condemnation and outrage.

The four men were executed over their involvement in organizing “brutal and inhumane terror acts”, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported on Monday.

The men were sentenced to death in a closed-door trial in January after being accused of helping militias to fight the military, which seized power in a February 2021 coup led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former legislator from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy [NLD] party, and prominent democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu were found guilty of offences under anti-terrorism laws.

Thaw, a hip-hop artist who was previously detained over his lyrics, had been accused of leading attacks on security forces, including a shooting on a commuter train in Yangon in August that left five policemen dead.

The two other men, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, were handed the death penalty for allegedly killing a woman they accused of being an informant for the military government in Yangon.

The executions mark the first use of capital punishment in the Southeast Asian country in decades.

The last judicial executions took place in the late 1980s, according to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners [AAPP], an activist group.

Executions in Myanmar have previously been carried out by hanging.