Myanmar’s ruling military executed four democracy activists accused of helping to carry out “terror acts,” it said on Monday, sparking condemnation of the Southeast Asian nation’s first executions in decades.
Sentenced to death in closed-door trials in January and April, the men had been accused of helping a resistance movement to fight the army that seized power in a coup last year.
The activists were accused of leading "brutal and inhumane terror acts," The Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said. These are Myanmar's first in decades.
The Global New Light of Myanmar said that the four had been charged under the counter-terrorism law and the penal code. The newspaper said the punishment had been conducted under the prison's procedures.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced the executions as " an act of utter cruelty."
"The Myanmar junta's execution of four men was an act of utter cruelty," Elaine Pearson, acting Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
"These executions, including of activist Ko Jimmy and opposition lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw, followed grossly unjust and politically motivated military trials. This horrific news was compounded by the junta's failure to notify the men's families, who learned about the executions through the junta's media reports," the statement said.