UN Security Council condemns executions in Myanmar

The UN Security Council condemned the Myanmar junta’s execution of four prisoners, drawing praise from the shadow government of ousted Myanmar lawmakers on Thursday.

In a rare consensus on the post-coup crisis, the Security Council on Wednesday issued a statement condemning the executions – the first in Myanmar in decades – and calling for the immediate release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Members of the Security Council condemned the execution of opposition activists by Myanmar military forces over the weekend,” the Council said in a statement.

“They recalled the Secretary-General’s statement of 25 July 2022 and reiterated his call for the immediate release of all arbitrarily detained prisoners.”

The statement was supported by Russia and China – two of the junta’s main allies who previously defended it at the UN – as well as neighboring India.

“Hail to the UN Security Council condemning the execution of democracy activists,” the verified Twitter account of the Government of National Unity (NUG) said.

The time has come for the council to “take concrete action against the junta,” he said.

The NUG, dominated by lawmakers from ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, is working to overthrow the coup and has been declared a “terrorist” organization by the junta.

The executions announced on Monday drew condemnation from around the world, fueling fears that more would follow and prompting calls for tougher international action against the already isolated junta.

Among the four executed were Phyo Zeya Tou, former National League for Democracy (NLD) MP Suu Kyi, and veteran pro-democracy activist Kyaw Ming Yu, better known as “Jimmy.”

Both were sentenced to death under anti-terrorism laws.

The junta has become increasingly isolated on the world stage, with Cambodian leader Hun Sen the only head of state to visit the country since the coup that plunged the country into turmoil.

The Prime Minister of Cambodia also addressed the head of the junta Min Aung Hlaing with a personal request not to carry out executions.

Myanmar’s junta has criticized international condemnation of its use of the death penalty, saying that the four executed prisoners “deserve many death sentences”.