Ko Jimmy and Ko Zeyar Thaw

ဒီပုံစံကတော့ ရက်စက်မှု၊ မတရားမှုတွေနဲ့ သွတ်သွင်းထားတဲ့ ကြောက်စိတ်မှ ကင်းဝေးခွင့်ရှိတဲ့ ခေတ်မျိုးရောက်တဲ့အထိ လွတ်လပ်မှုအတွက်တိုက်ပွဲကို တိုက်ရတဲ့ပုံစံပဲ ဖြစ်ပါတယ်။

This is how the battle for freedom has to be fought until such time as we have the right to be free from the fear imposed by brutality and injustice

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Reith lectures, 2011

Democratically elected

On June 3 2022, a junta court confirmed that two pro-democracy activists will be hanged for their part in opposing the unlawful military coup.

Both were sentenced to death by a military court in January for their part in the national uprising that has confronted the junta since it seized power on 1 February 2021.

Their appeals were denied in secret proceedings. A junta spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that “the appeal was rejected so the death sentences are going to be implemented.”

Ko Jimmy Kyaw Min Yu is a long-standing activist for democracy and justice. Ko Phyo Zeyar Thaw is an elected MP for the National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

Theirs will be Myanmar’s first executions in decades.

International condemnation has been led by the United Nations Secretary General. “This is a blatant violation to the right to life, liberty and security of person as per Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” his spokesperson said. 

He called for “respect of people’s rights to freedom of opinion and expression; to drop all charges against those arrested on charges related to the exercise of their fundamental freedoms and rights, and for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Myanmar.”

Thus far, the junta has responded only by saying, “They will be hanged according to prison procedure.”

The military regime that stole power in the 2021 coup has been responsible for many crimes. Almost 3000 people have been killed, and more than 12,000 arrested. 138 of these are children – two of them are 4 years old. There have been 861 violent attacks on healthcare workers and facilities. Over a million people have lost their homes and 13,226 incidents of arson. Villages have been torched. People have been burnt to death. 

The use of the death penalty against those whose crime is to believe in freedom marks a further step in Min Aung Hlaing’s campaign of violence, hatred and intimidation.

All those who care for freedom, all those who believe in the value of life, should condemn this new barbarism.

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