The Fund for Global Human Rights strongly condemns the extrajudicial executions of Ko Jimmy (also known as Kyaw Min Yu), Phyo Zayar Thaw, Hla Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw by the military junta in Myanmar.
We share the grief of the family and friends of those killed, and stand in solidarity with civil society in Myanmar.
Ko Jimmy was a pro-democracy leader who had already spent most of his adult life as a political prisoner because of his activism. He opposed the military’s February 2021 coup and was arrested in October 2021. Phyo Zayar Thaw was a hip-hop artist and activist turned politician. He served in parliament beginning in 2012. Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw were activists with lower public profiles.
Fund grantee AAPP—the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners—describes the trials as a “kangaroo court,” where any confessions were the result of mental and physical abuse. More than 100 other people have reportedly been sentenced to death in secretive trials by military-run courts.
David Mattingly, the Fund’s vice president for programs, says:
These executions are part of a pattern of violence and disregard for democratic and human rights norms. A robust investigation into these killings and into the full range of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Myanmar becomes more urgent every day.
We join with the people of Myanmar and its neighbors in Southeast Asia, as well as governments, institutions, and civil society around the world to condemn, in the strongest terms possible, these heinous crimes.
We will continue to support activists in Myanmar who are committed to justice and accountability.