Nepal activists protest Burma executions


Nepali rights activists this week took to the streets of Kathmandu against the execution of Phyo Zeya Thaw, Kyaw Min Yu (Ko Jimmy), Hla Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw by the Burmese military junta.

The four democracy activists including a former lawmaker Thaw were accused of committing 'terror acts' and were sentenced to death in a closed-door trial in a move much criticised by rights activists, and organisations internationally including from the United Nations Security Council.

In Nepal, National Alliance for Human Rights and Social Justice (Human Rights Alliance) has strongly condemned the Burma Junta Military Government's brutal torture of freedom fighters and their fight to restore liberties, and democracy.

“This heinous activity of the military government has severely violated the fundamental values and principles of democracy in the country,” reads the statement by Human Rights Alliance, adding that it takes the act of execution as a blatant violation of the people’s right to life, liberty and security.

Human Rights Alliance further states that it stands in its position that the cruel and barbarian execution against pro-democracy activists in Burma is reprehensible and condemnable, further calling it a heinous and intolerable devastating incident.

Burma is a member state of the United Nations and as such must respect and honour the fundamental democratic values and norms, international humanitarian law, and human rights principles, say right activists.

“We strongly demand that any type of torture, kidnapping, restriction on assembly and rally, intimidation, and cruel punishment must be immediately stopped ensuring the restoration of democratic rights, and handing it over to the people of Myanmar,” states the Human Rights Alliance in the letter signed by the chair Min Bahadur Shahi who was formerly a member of the National Planning Commission.

It has further urged the international community including civil society and regional organisations including ASEAN, BIMSTEC and SAARC to take immediate action to protect and promote the democratic movement and pro-democratic activists as well as sovereign people without any further devastating loss and damage but rather advocate to create mounting pressure to restore democracy.

Burma has been seeing violent crackdown on pro-democracy supporters following the military coup d'état on 1 February 2021 staged by Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of the country's armed forces. Since then, over 2,000 people have been killed and nearly 15,000 have been arrested including Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior government figures.

Protesters have mostly employed peaceful and non-violent forms of protest to which the military leaders have adopted various countermeasures including media and internet blackouts and the spread of misinformation.

The Human Rights Alliance statement concludes: “We demand that the Junta military must be isolated and cut down from the global cooperation and partnership to restore and support the democratic movement, and campaigns in Myanmar.”

Last week, the Human Rights Organisation of Nepal (HURON) also held a rally in Kathmandu condemning the execution of the four men. Nepal's rights groups have also been protesting impunity in Nepal itself, and a draft bill in Parliament that would allow immunity from prosecution of those accused of heinous crimes during the 1996-2006 Maoist conflict in Nepal.