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International Community and Concerned Organizations Call for Ending 4 Burmese Activists Executions

June 6th, 2022  •  Author:   199 International and Myanmar Organizations  •  9 minute read
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Myanmar’s junta has stated that it will execute a former lawmaker from Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, a prominent democracy activist and two civil society members in the country’s first judicial executions in the last few decades.

A military panel sentenced four people, including former National League for Democracy (NLD) Member of Parliament Phyo Zeya Thaw and democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Ko Jimmy, for alleged “terrorism” while Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw are the other two who faced death sentenced earlier.

The four men did not receive a fair trial. “First of all, it’s not a fair trial because they lost their legal rights to defend at the military tribunal. They also lost their rights to legal counsel during the appeal process,” said Min Lwin Oo, a Myanmar legal expert based in Norway, adding that “Normally, the appeals process for death sentence takes up to three to five years through different courts and takes at least four to five years to go through state leaders. But such a fast-track process is unprecedented.”

“Two other men, who were convicted and sentenced to death for killing a woman they alleged was an informer for the junta in Yangon, will also be executed”, said Zaw Min Tun, adding that no date had been set for the executions.

If the executions go ahead, Phyo Zeya Thaw, Ko Jimmy, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw will be the first political dissidents to be executed in the country in the last few decades.

Since last year’s coup, the military regime has handed down death sentences to 113 people for their roles in the armed resistance to the junta, according to VOA’s Burmese Service, but none of these sentences have been carried out.

The junta’s decision to “move towards executing two prominent political leaders will be like pouring gasoline on the fire of popular anti-military resistance in the country,” said Phil Robertson, a deputy director of U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.

At the United Nations on Friday, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: “We are deeply troubled by the Myanmar military’s decision to proceed with the execution of two pro-democracy activists after they received death sentences. This is a blatant violation of the right to life, liberty, and security of person as per Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

The junta accused Phyo Zeya Thaw of orchestrating several attacks on regime forces, including a gun attack on a commuter train in Yangon in August that killed five police officers.

A hip-hop pioneer whose subversive rhymes irked the previous junta, he was jailed in 2008 for founding an anti-junta youth activist organization and his leading role in Saffron Revolution, an anti- junta movement led by Buddhist monks. He was elected to parliament in the 2015 elections, which ushered in a transition to civilian rule.

Ko Jimmy, who rose to prominence during Myanmar’s 1988 student uprising against the country’s previous military regime, was arrested in October 2021. The arrest was based on an arrest warrant alleging he had incited unrest with his social media posts.

Nearly 16 months after the military launched its nationwide campaign of violence and terror in an attempt to illegally seize power, the military has killed over 2,000 people, including women and children and detained over 12,000.

Having so far failed to impose its rule over the territory and population, the military continues to intensify its cruel and brutal attacks against the people of Myanmar with indiscriminate airstrikes, shelling, massacres, burning down of villages, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence. In addition, the military continues to manipulate for military gain, impede or block humanitarian aid to over 880,000 displaced people across the country while attacking medical facilities and medical and humanitarian workers.

Despite the brutal violence, the Myanmar people have continued to resist the military, steadfastly demonstrating their courageous will and defense of their democracy.

Over 400,000 civil servants who have joined the Civil Disobedience Movement refuse to work under the military, while others carry out general strikes and street protests. Boycott of military products and refusal to pay electricity bills continues and self-defense forces and formation of new autonomous local administrations alongside the existing parallel administrations in ethnic areas mar the military’s desperate attempts to assert administrative and territorial control.

We, the following organizations and world citizens condemn the order of execution and call for Phyo Zeya Thaw, Ko Jimmy, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw be given JUSTICE and respect before the law. We also call for the immediate release of all political prisoners, end of violence and for establishment of GENUINE PEACE and FEDERAL DEMOCRACY in Myanmar.

  1. Action Against Myanmar Military Coup (Sydney)
  2. Action Committee for Democracy Development (ACDD)
  3. Ah Nah Podcast- Conversation with Myanmar
  4. All Burma Democratic Face in New Zealand
  5. All Burma Student Democratic Front – Australia Branch
  6. All Young Burmese League (AYBL)
  7. Alliance for FREE Burma Solidarity
  8. Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM)
  9. ALTSEAN-Burma
  10. Anti-Myanmar Dictatorship Movement
  11. Anti-Myanmar Military Dictatorship Network (AMMDN)
  12. Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition
  13. Asian Cultural Forum on Development (ACFOD)
  14. Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
  15. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
  16. Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
  17. Auckland Kachin Community (New Zealand)
  18. Auckland Zomi Community (New Zealand)
  19. Australia Burma Friendship Association, Northern Territory
  20. Australia Karen Organization WA Inc.
  21. Australia Myanmar Doctors, Nurses and Friends
  22. Australia Myanmar Institute (AMI)
  23. Australia Myanmar Youth Alliance (AMYA)
  24. Australian Burmese Muslim Organisation
  25. Australian Chin Community (Eastern Melbourne Inc)
  26. Australian Karen Organisation (AKO)
  27. Bamar Community Tasmania
  28. Blood Money Campaign
  29. Burma Action Ireland
  30. Burma Campaign UK
  31. Burma Human Rights Network
  32. Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC)
  33. Burman Suomalaiset (Finland)
  34. Burmese Community
  35. Burmese Community Development Collaboration (BCDC)
  36. Burmese Community Group (Manawatu, NZ)
  37. Burmese Community Support Group (BCSG)
  38. Burmese Friendship Association
  39. Burmese Medical Association Australia (BMAA)
  40. Burmese Rohingya Welfare Organisation – New Zealand
  41. Burmese Women’s Union
  42. Campaign for Popular Democracy (CPD), Thailand
  43. Canberra Karen Association
  44. Central European Institute of Asian Studies
  45. Chin Community of Western Australia Inc.
  46. Chin Community of Auckland
  47. Chin Community SA
  48. Chin Community Tasmania
  49. Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO)
  50. Chin Youth Organization
  51. Community Resource Center (CRC)
  52. Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)
  53. CRPH & NUG Supporters Ireland
  54. CRPH Funding Ireland
  55. CRPH Support Group, Norway
  56. CRPH/NUG Support Group Australia
  57. Democracy for Burma
  58. Democracy for Myanmar – Working Group (NZ)
  59. Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization
  60. Educational Initiatives
  61. Equality Myanmar
  62. ETOs Watch Coalition (ETO = Extra Territorial Obligations)
  63. European Karen Network (EKN)
  64. Falam Community
  65. Federal Myanmar Benevolence Group (NZ)
  66. FEDEVI Argentina
  67. Future Light Center
  68. Future Thanlwin
  69. German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy eV
  70. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution
  71. Grass-root People
  72. Human Rights Alert, Manipur
  73. Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF)
  74. Human Rights Educators Network
  75. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
  76. Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)
  77. Industrial Training Centre (ITC) Family Sydney
  78. Info Birmanie
  79. Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)
  80. Interfaith Youth Coalition on Aids in Myanmar (IYCA-Myanmar)
  81. International Alliance of Inhabitants, Tunisia
  82. Isaan Land Reform Network (ILRN)
  83. Joint Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (JACDB)
  84. Justice 4 Myanmar – Hope & Development
  85. Justice For Myanmar
  86. Kachin Association Australia
  87. Kachin Association of Australia WA Inc.
  88. Karen Community
  89. Karen Human Rights Group
  90. Karen Swedish Community (KSC)
  91. Karen Women’s Organization
  92. Karenni Civil Society Network
  93. Karenni Federation of Australia
  94. Karenni National Women’s Organization
  95. Karenni/Kayah Community
  96. Karenni Society New Zealand
  97. Kayan Internally Displacement Supervising Committee (KIDSC)
  98. Kayan Women’s Organization
  99. Kayin Community Tasmania
  100. Keng Tung Youth
  101. Korea Democracy Foundation
  102. Let’s Help Each Other
  103. Loka Ahlinn
  104. Matu Chin Community
  105. Mekong Butterfly
  106. Metta Campaign Mandalay
  107. Mindat Chin Community NSW
  108. Mindat Community
  109. Mizo Community
  110. Mon Families Group
  111. Mon National Council
  112. Montfort Social Institute
  113. Muslim Youth Network
  114. Myanmar Buddhist Community of South Australia
  115. Myanmar Community Coffs Harbour (MCC)
  116. Myanmar Democracy and Peace Committee (Australia)
  117. Myanmar Democratic Force in Denmark
  118. Myanmar Democratic Movement (MDM)
  119. Myanmar Diaspora Group (Finland)
  120. Myanmar Engineers – New Zealand
  121. Myanmar Engineering Association of Australia (MEAA)
  122. Myanmar Gonye (New Zealand)
  123. Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)
  124. Myanmar People from Ireland
  125. Myanmar People Residing in Canberra
  126. Myanmar Professionals Association Australia (MPAA)
  127. Myanmar Students’ Association Australia (MSAA)
  128. Myanmar Students’ Union in New Zealand
  129. Netherlands – Myanmar Solidarity Platform
  130. Network for Human Rights Documentation Burma (ND-Burma)
  131. New Zealand Doctors for NUG
  132. New Zealand Karen Association
  133. New Zealand Zo Community Inc.
  134. NLD Solidarity Association (Australia)
  135. Non-binary Thailand
  136. Olive Organization
  137. Overseas Mon Association. New Zealand
  138. Peace and Culture Foundation
  139. Peace and Human Rights Resource Center (PHRC)
  140. Pa-O Women’s Union
  141. Perth Myanmar Youth Network
  142. Progressive Voice
  143. Pro Rights Foundation
  144. Patriotic War Veterans of Burma (PWVB)
  145. Pridi Banomyong Institute
  146. Pyithu Gonye (New Zealand)
  147. Queensland Kachin Community (QKC)
  148. Queensland Myanmar Youth Collective (QMYC)
  149. Queensland Rohingya Community
  150. Red Campaign Nirvana Exhortation Group
  151. Remonya Association of WA (Mon Community)
  152. EUMPUN Tjoet Njak Dien Yogyakaya – Indonesia
  153. Rvwang Community Association New Zealand
  154. Save and Care Organization for Ethnic Women at Border Areas
  155. Save Myanmar Fundraising Group (New Zealand)
  156. SEA Junction
  157. Shan Community (New Zealand)
  158. Shan MATA
  159. Shape-sea
  160. Shwe Youth Democratic Alliance (SYDA)
  161. Sitt Nyein Pann Foundation
  162. Southcare Medical Centre
  163. Southern Youth Development Organization
  164. Spirit in Education Movement (SEM)
  165. Support for Myanmar
  166. Swedish Burma Committee
  167. Sydney Friends for Myanmar Unity
  168. Synergy – Social Harmony Organization
  169. Ta’ang Legal Aid
  170. Tanintharyi MATA
  171. Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (TACDB)
  172. Thai Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
  173. The Civil Coalition for Human Rights
  174. The Institution of Professional Engineers Myanmar
  175. The Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University
  176. The Tunisia Human Rights League (THRL)
  177. Thint Myat Lo Thu Myar Organization
  178. Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA
  179. Union for Civil Liberty (UCL)
  180. United Myanmar Community of South Australia
  181. Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania
  182. US Campaign for Burma (USCB)
  183. Victorian Burmese Care Community (VBCC)
  184. Victorian Myanmar Youth
  185. We Fair
  186. WeMove
  187. We Pledge CDM (Australia)
  188. Western Australia Myanmar Democratic Network
  189. Women Activists Myanmar (WAM)
  190. Women Alliance Burma
  191. Women Peace Network
  192. Women’s League of Burma
  193. Yadanar Foundation
  194. Zo Community
  195. Zomi Association Australia Inc.
  196. Zomi Community Queensland
  197. Zomi Community South Australia
  198. Young People for Social Democracy Movement (YPD), Thailand
  199. 8888 Generation (New Zealand)

6 June 2022

Contact person:
Dr. Laddawan Tantivitayapitak    <drjobladdawan@gmail.com>
Boonthan T. Verawongse             <bverawongse9@gmail.com>
or                                                     <acfod.bangkok@gmail.com>


Download the statement in English and Thai languages.