Southeast Asian lawmakers call for justice, accountability one year after the execution of four Myanmar pro-democracy activists


Southeast Asian lawmakers call for justice, accountability one year after the execution of four Myanmar pro-democracy activists

JAKARTA – The Myanmar military must be held accountable for their continued mockery of the rule of the law, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said today, marking one year since four political prisoners committed to the success of the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar were executed at the order of junta leader Min Aung Hlaing.  Former lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw and three other activists – Kyaw Min Yu, known as “Ko Jimmy,” Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw – were all sentenced to death in closed-door military courts during sham trials backed by junta-appointed judges. 

The executions of the four activists was a gross miscarriage of justice and a grave loss for the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar. The fact that the military continues to sentence scores of people to death is evidence of their disregard for upholding any qualified measure of the law. ASEAN should take this for what it is – evidence of a brutal military regime with no intention of abiding by human rights principles, including the right to a free and fair trial. One year on, there has yet to be any justice for the victims’ families and the thousands of political prisoners detained,” APHR Chair and member of the Indonesian House of Representatives Mercy Barends said today. 

The junta intended the executions to send a strong message to the pro-democracy movement but their cruelty has only propelled activists to amplify their calls to the international community to go beyond condemning the brutal military regime and respond with tangible actions that hold the junta to account, including an immediate referral by the United Nations Security Council to the International Criminal Court. 

The situation in Myanmar remains volatile as the junta continues to torture, kill, arrest and detain people who resist their dictatorship. As indicated in the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar and other rights-based reports, crimes against humanity continue to be systematically perpetrated in the country by the junta.

We stand in solidarity with the Myanmar people and pro-democracy movement and their courageous stand against the illegal military junta. We echo their calls and urge the international community, including ASEAN, to take concrete measures to hold the junta accountable for their terrible crimes, including by supporting the legal cases in the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice as well as ongoing efforts to assert universal jurisdiction,” said Barends.

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ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) was founded in June 2013 with the objective of promoting democracy and human rights across Southeast Asia. Our founding members include many of the region's most progressive Members of Parliament (MPs), with a proven track record of human rights advocacy work.

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