Our Voices

Myanmar: We Condemn The Executions of Pro-Democracy Activists

Myanmar’s military junta announced July 25 it had executed four pro-democracy activists: Kyaw Min Yu (also known as Ko Jimmy), Phyo Zeya Thaw, Hla Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw. These are the first executions in Myanmar in more than three decades.

Their executions follow a series of politically motivated trials in secretive military tribunals, where the men were accused of supporting anti-junta resistance movements since the 2021 coup.

Ko Jimmy, 53, was a veteran activist in the 88 Generation Students Group, a pro-democracy movement known for its anti-junta activism in the 1988 student uprisings; he and his wife are well-respected pioneers of the pro-democracy movement. Jimmy was arrested, accused of hiding weapons and ammunition and of being an adviser to the opposition group, National Unity Government, in October 2021.

Phyo Zeya Thaw, 41, was a National Unity Government lawmaker, former hip hop star, and close ally of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. He was arrested in November 2021, accused of terrorism.

The other two activists, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, were sentenced to death for the alleged killing of a junta informant.

“These brutal acts against pro-democracy activists demonstrate the junta’s willingness to do all it can to repress the people of Myanmar,” said Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “These actions must not continue with impunity.”

We strongly condemn the executions of these four brave activists, and we send our deepest condolences to their families.