The UN Security Council on Wednesday condemned the execution of four pro-democracy activists by Myanmar’s ruling military and called for the release of all arbitrarily detained prisoners, including President Win Myint and deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
In a statement approved by all 15 members, the council called for dialogue and reconciliation “in accordance with the will and the interests of the people of Myanmar,” an immediate halt to all violence, respect for human rights and full aid access.
Veteran democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Ko Jimmy, and former National League for Democracy lawmaker Phyo Zayar Thaw were executed, along with Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, state media reported Monday.
The Myanmar military, which seized power in a coup last year, announced on Monday it had executed the activists for aiding “terror acts” by a civilian resistance movement, Myanmar’s first executions in decades.
The military on Tuesday defended the executions as “justice for the people,” brushing off a deluge of international condemnation, including from its closest neighbors.
Human rights groups fear more executions will follow. According to Human Rights Watch, 114 people have been sentenced to death in Myanmar since the military seized power in February 2021.
Rights groups say secretive military tribunals deny the chance to a fair trial and are designed for speedy – and almost certain – convictions, regardless of evidence.
CNN’s Helen Regan and Rhea Mogul contributed reporting.