Social Issues

Australia, New Zealand condemn executions by Myanmar military junta

Sydney, Australia, Jul 26 (EFE).- Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday strongly condemned the Myanmar military junta’s execution of four people, including democracy activists and a former lawmaker.

“Australia is appalled by the execution of four pro-democracy activists in Myanmar and strongly condemns the actions of the Myanmar military regime. Australia opposes the death penalty in all circumstances for all people,” Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement.

“We call on the regime in Myanmar to cease violence, release all those unjustly detained, and fulfill its commitments under the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus.”

New Zealand’s foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta also condemned the executions “in the strongest possible terms.”

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a strong and long standing opposition to the death penalty in all cases and under all circumstances,” said Mahuta.

“This was a barbaric act by Myanmar’s military regime,” she said, adding that the country “made our views known to Myanmar prior to the executions.”

She also reiterated the country’s opposition to the military coup in Myanmar on Feb. 1, 2021, and called on the junta to cease “the on-going violence against civilians.”

On Monday, Myanmar’s military-controlled news agency reported the executions on an unspecified date of four prisoners in the first application of the death penalty since 1988, according to Amnesty International.

Those executed include 41-year-old Phyo Zeyar Thaw, a lawmaker from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy and former hip-hop artist, and activist Kyaw Min Yu, 53 years old and known as Ko Jimmy, who were convicted in January on terrorism charges.

The other two inmates were Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, accused of having killed a woman believed to be an informer for the military.

The military coup plunged Myanmar into a deep political, social and economic crisis, while triggering a spiral of violence with the formation of new civilian militias that have exacerbated decades of guerrilla warfare. EFE


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