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Myanmar court sentences two prominent activists to death

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Two prominent political activists in military-ruled Myanmar have been sentenced to death for their alleged involvement in terrorist activities

BANGKOK — Two prominent political activists in military-ruled Myanmar have been sentenced to death for their alleged involvement in terrorist activities, an army TV channel reported on Friday.

Myawaddy TV said on its evening news that Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Ko Jimmy, and Phyo Zeyar Thaw, also known as Maung Kyaw, had been sentenced under the country’s anti-terrorism law. They were convicted of offenses involving explosives, bombings and the financing of terrorism.

Both have been detained since their arrest, unable to comment on the allegations, and no lawyer has ever come forward to comment on their behalf. Min Yu’s wife, Nilar Thein, in October denied the allegations against her husband.

Details of their trials were not available because the proceedings were held in a military court behind closed doors. It was unclear whether their two cases were related.

Myanmar today has rarely carried out death sentences.

The pair are among the most prominent activists to have been sentenced to death since the military seized power in February last year from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

His takeover sparked large-scale popular protests, which have since escalated into a low-level insurgency after non-violent protests were met with lethal force by security forces. It is estimated that nearly 1,500 civilians were killed and more than 11,000 arrested for political offences.

Some resistance factions engaged in assassinations, drive-by shootings and bombings in urban areas. Main opposition organizations generally disavow such activities, while supporting armed resistance in rural areas, which are more often subject to brutal military attacks.

Kyaw Min Yu is one of the leaders of the Generation 88 student group, popular uprising veterans who failed to overthrow a previous military government.

Since then he has been politically active and has spent more than a dozen years behind bars. His October 23 arrest in Yangon was initially reported by his wife, an activist who has also been imprisoned in the past. Both went into hiding after the February takeover and it is believed she is still in hiding.

Two weeks after his arrest, a military-installed government statement accused Kyaw Min Yu of “carrying out acts of terrorism, including mine attacks to undermine the stability of the state” and alleged that he led a group called “Moon Light Operation” to carry out urban guerrilla warfare. attacks.

He was already on the wanted list for social media posts allegedly inciting unrest.

Phyo Zeyar Thaw is a former lawmaker from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party. He was a hip-hop musician before becoming a member of Generation Wave, a political movement formed in 2007.

He was arrested on November 18 in possession of arms and ammunition, according to a statement from the ruling army at the time.

This statement also indicates that he was arrested based on information from people arrested the previous day for shooting at security personnel.

Other army statements accused him of being a key figure in a network of dozens of people who allegedly carried out what the army called “terrorist” attacks in Yangon.

Myanmar court sentences two prominent activists to death

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