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Expert fears ‘floodgates’ will open in Myanmar after executions

ARTICLE: US STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN NED PRICE SAID: “With these horrible atrocities that the board has carried out, there can be no business as usual with this regime.” The execution of four democracy activists – “Jimmy” Kyaw Min Yu, Phyo Zeya Thaw, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw – by Myanmar’s military junta has drawn widespread international condemnation. The United States said on Monday (July 25) that all options were on the table as it considered its response. The four men were sentenced to death in closed trials in January and April. They were accused of carrying out “terrorist acts” against the army that seized power in a coup last year that sparked a bloody crackdown on their opponents. Self-exiled journalist Aung Naing Soe says the international community must take action. “Many people are, how can I say, frustrated with, frustrated by the action of the international community. It’s just words, you know, it’s like, oh, we’ll do this, we care, we did that, blah blah blah, you know. It’s nothing in action, you know? If there is anything going on, these kinds of executions would not happen.” Amnesty International’s Chiara Sangiorgio said the executions were a “huge setback” and called for greater efforts to put in place accountability mechanisms. “We have seen one and again, through developments and the terrible human rights record of the military authorities in Myanmar since February 2021, the more room they have left, the more they tend to escalate. And the death penalty, with more than 100 death sentences imposed by military courts in deeply unfair proceedings, is a clear example of what they are capable of and the fact that they are not going to stop there.” Tom Andrews is the Rapporteur “I am afraid that now even more floodgates are opening and there is even more to be less and less moderate on the part of the junta to continue its attacks against the people of Myanmar … and try to instill fear, even more fear, in the population.” Andrews says that with 140 people on death row, the executions, the first in Myanmar in decades, indicate the junta intends to carry out those sentences. A spokesman for the junta last month defended the death penalty, saying it was justified and used in many countries.

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