Myanmar executions: US urges China to condemn Myanmar

Image credit: BBC

Following the death of four pro-democracy campaigners by the military junta, the US has encouraged China to exert further pressure on Myanmar.

A spokeswoman for the State Department claimed that China has the greatest potential to affect Myanmar, while China denied interfering in other nation’s domestic affairs.

The government in Myanmar asserted that the men “earned several death sentences” in the meantime.

Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, warned there might not be “business as usual” with the junta.

Among those put to death were activist Kyaw Min Yu, often known as Ko Jimmy, and former politician Phyo Zeya Thaw.

Following an army-led takeover last year, the activists were detained and charged with “terror crimes.” In an unfair trial conducted behind closed doors, they were given the death penalty.

Phyo Zeya Thaw and Ko Jimmy both lost their appeals against their sentencing in June.

Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, the other two campaigners, are less well known. For the murder of a woman who was reportedly an informant for the junta, they were given the death penalty.

Amnesty International, a rights organisation, has issued a warning that 100 more people in the nation have received death sentences after being found guilty in similar trials.

The world community has harshly condemned the executions.

They were described as “reprehensible acts of violence that further highlight the regime’s disdain for human rights and the rule of law” in a joint statement by the EU, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, the UK, and the US.

Additionally, they demanded that the junta leadership adhere to an accord reached with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which required it to seek peace through discussion (Asean).

The Asean plan, according to Scott Marciel, a former US ambassador to Myanmar, was “dead on arrival” last year, and countries that support Myanmar’s democracy movement should take more action.

The executions have been denounced by Asean itself, UN human rights director Michelle Bachelet, and rights organizations.

According to Ms Bachelet, “This terrible and backwards action is a continuation of the military’s continuous oppressive campaign against its people.”