The junta which took power in Myanmar in a February 2021 coup has announced plans to execute two political activists who were condemned in the country’s top court, possibly to be followed by scores more, alarming human rights activists.
The decision is a critical turn away from longstanding Burmese imperatives, which for more than four decades have ruled out executions because of Buddhist strictures against taking life although there are widespread suspicions that previous juntas have used extrajudicial killings as a substitute. Nearly 90 percent of the nation are practicing Buddhists.
According to local sources in Yangon (formerly Rangoon), political leader Ko Phyo Zeya Thaw, 40, who is associated with the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy, and anti-junta activist Kyaw Min Yu, 52 (alias Ko Jimmy) will be hanged soon inside a prison in Naypyidaw. There are more than 100 hardcore political dissidents condemned to death by the courts who may follow.
There are unconfirmed reports that more than 2,000 individuals including women and children have been killed since the military ended the fragile democracy following a seemingly fair national election in November 2020 in which Suu Kyi’s NLD won most of the seats, overwhelming provisions of the 2008 constitution that were designed to keep the military in power in both the lower and upper houses of Parliament…
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