Myanmar Executes Four Activists, Prompting International Response

A vigil for peace held in Yangon last year.

Myanmar’s junta government has executed four activists including Phyo Zeya Thaw–a hip hop artist and lawmaker who was an ally of Aung San Suu Kyi–and Kyaw Min Yu, the democracy campaigner known as Ko Jimmy. 

The four executions were announced by the military government on 25 July, then quickly made international media (including Reuters and the BBC), prompting reactions from international organizations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International

Two of the executed, Phyo Zeya Thaw and Kyaw Min Yu, were famously critics of the junta government, while the other two executed activists, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, were lesser known and sentenced to death for allegedly killing a woman who was an informant for the junta. 

These four executions are, according to the United Nations, the first use of capital punishment in Myanmar/Burma since 1988. 117 others have also been sentenced to death by the new government, but these four executions are the first to actually occur. The government did not reveal the method of execution.

The government of Laos has supported the ASEAN stance on Myanmar, which calls for political stability and a peaceful resolution of the situation. Myanmar’s junta leadership was excluded from the ASEAN summit both this year and last year.