On Friday (Jan 21), a Myanmar military tribunal convicted a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s expelled party to death for terror offenses, according to the junta.
According to a local monitoring group, the Southeast Asian country has been in anarchy since the February coup, with more than 1,400 people dead in a subsequent crackdown on opposition.
Opponents of the Junta have gone into hiding across the country, including supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy and campaigners, while other villages have taken up arms and formed small militias to defend themselves.
According to the junta announcement, Phyo Zeyar Thaw, a member of the NLD who was arrested in November, was sentenced to death for anti-terrorism offenses.
The military tribunal also handed down the same punishment to prominent democratic campaigner Kyaw Min Yu, also known as “Jimmy,” according to the announcement, which included photos of both men.
Their sentences were also read out on the nightly news by official media.
As part of its crackdown on dissent, the junta has condemned scores of anti-coup activists to death, although Myanmar has not carried out an execution in decades.
The junta’s information team claimed Phyo Zeyar Thaw, whose real name is Maung Kyaw, was arrested at an apartment in Yangon’s commercial district after a “tip-off and assistance from diligent residents.”
He was accused of planning many attacks on regime forces, including the heinous shooting of five police officers on a commuter train in Yangon in August.
In the 2015 elections that marked the beginning of the transition to civilian government, he was elected to parliament from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party.Kyaw Min Yu, who rose to prominence during Myanmar’s 1988 student uprising has been arrested in an overnight raid in October.
Part of the so-called 88 Generation movement that challenged Myanmar’s previous military government, the junta issued an arrest warrant for him last year, alleging he had incited unrest with his social media posts.
Aung San Suu Kyi is facing a raft of criminal and corruption charges – including violating the country’s official secrets laws – and if convicted of all of them could face sentences tallying more than 100 years of prison.
Before the coup, Aung San Suu Kyi was on the cusp of beginning another five-year term as the country’s de facto leader after the National League for Democracy won a landslide in November 2020 polls.
The junta filed an arrest warrant for him last year, stating that he incited disturbance through his social media posts as part of the so-called 88 Generation movement that opposed Myanmar’s former military regime.
Aung San Suu Kyi is accused of a slew of criminal and corruption accusations, including breaching the country’s official secrets laws, and if found guilty of all of them, she could face a sentence of more than 100 years in prison.
Aung San Suu Kyi was about to start a new five-year tenure as the country’s de facto leader after the National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in the November 2020 elections.