UN Security Council condemns executions in Myanmar

The UN Security Council on Wednesday condemned the execution of four pro-democracy activists by Myanmar’s ruling military and called for the release of all arbitrarily detained prisoners, including President Win Myint and ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In a statement approved by the 15 members, the council called for dialogue and reconciliation “in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar,” an immediate cessation of all violence, respect for human rights, and full access to aid.

Veteran Democratic activist Kyaw Min Yeo, better known as Ko Jimi, and former NLD MP Phew Zyar Tho, was executed, along with Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, state media reported Monday.

Myanmar’s military, which seized power in a coup last year, announced on Monday that it had executed activists for aiding in “acts of terrorism” by a civilian resistance movement, the first executions in Myanmar in decades.

The military on Tuesday defended the executions as “justice for the people,” shrugging off a wave of international condemnation, including from its closest neighbour.

Human rights groups fear that more executions will come. According to Human Rights Watch, 114 people have been sentenced to death in Myanmar since the military seized power in February 2021.

Rights groups say secret military courts deny the opportunity for a fair trial and are designed for swift – and almost certain – convictions, regardless of the evidence.

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