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Myanmar executes 4 activists

Prominent pro-democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu, or Ko Jimmy (pictured here in 2012), was one of the four executed. Photo: BBC

Myanmar’s military has executed four democracy activists in what is believed to be the first use of capital punishment in decades.

Ko Jimmy and lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw of the executed activists were accused of committing “terror acts”.

The activists were sentenced to death in a closed-door trial that rights groups criticised as being unjust.

Pro-democracy leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party Ms Suu Kyi who was arrested in February 2021, following an army-led coup, was very sad after hearing the news but did not make any comments, BBC reports.

“Such reprehensible acts of violence and repression cannot be tolerated. We remain committed to the people of Burma and their efforts to restore Burma’s path to democracy,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a tweet.

Mother of Zayar Thaw says she was not told when exactly her son would be executed, adding that she was unable to make proper traditional funeral plans as a result.

“When we met on Zoom last Friday, my son was healthy and smiling. He asked me to send his reading glasses, dictionary and some money to use in prison, so I brought those things to the prison today,” Khin Win May told the BBC. “That’s why I didn’t think they would kill him. I didn’t believe it.”

Meanwhile, the sister of Ko Jimmy – whose real name is Kyaw Min Yu – had earlier said they were yet to receive the bodies.

Myanmar’s state news outlet said the four men were executed because they “gave directives, made arrangements and committed conspiracies for brutal and inhumane terror acts”.

Writing by Muzha Kucha