Myanmar army says activist, legislator should receive death penalty | News

Activist Kyaw Min Yu and National League for Democracy MP Phyo Zeya Thaw had rejected an appeal against the verdict.

Myanmar’s military government said an appeal by two prominent democracy activists against their death sentences had been rejected, paving the way for the country’s first executions in decades.

Veteran democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu and Phyo Zeya Thaw, a lawmaker for the former ruling National League for Democracy party, were sentenced to death in January by a military tribunal on charges of treason and terrorism, according to a military statement at the time.

A military government spokesman said on Friday that their appeal against the death sentence had been dismissed.

“Previously, death row inmates could appeal and if no decision was made, their death sentences would not be carried out,” spokesman Zaw Min Tun told the BBC’s Burmese Language Service.

“At this point, that appeal has been denied, so the death sentences will be carried out,” he said.

No details were provided about when the executions would take place.

Representatives for the two activists could not be reached for comment and it was unclear whether the two had denied the charges against them. The military did not mention how the two activists had argued.

Although the military has sentenced dozens of anti-coup activists to death as part of the crackdown on dissent after taking power last year, Myanmar has not carried out any executions for decades.

Phil Robertson, a deputy director at Human Rights Watch, said the decision to “move toward the execution of two prominent political leaders will be like pouring gasoline on the popular anti-military resistance in the United States.” country”.

“Such a move will also lead to worldwide condemnation and strengthen the junta’s reputation as one of the worst human rights abusers in Asia.”

Myanmar’s military has been widely condemned abroad for ousting an elected government in a coup d’├ętat more than a year ago, and for the brutal crackdown it has since unleashed on critics, opposition members and activists.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a new report that the number of displaced persons in war-torn Myanmar has surpassed one million for the first time, with more than half of them losing their homes after the military takeover in 2021.

More than 694,300 people have been displaced from their homes since the takeover, according to the report, and an estimated 346,000 people were displaced by fighting before last year’s coup.

About 40,200 people have fled to neighboring countries and, according to the UN, it is estimated that more than 12,700 “civil property”, including homes, churches, monasteries and schools, have been destroyed.

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