The Law Association for Asia and the Pacific (Lawasia) joins the international community in unequivocally condemning the recent executions by the Myanmar military junta of four people, including political activist Kyaw Min Yu (Ko Jimmy) and lawmaker and former MP Phyo Zeya Thaw.
It has been reported that these four persons were accused of helping to carry out ‘terror acts.’
Credible reports indicate they were tried and convicted by military tribunals, reportedly without access to legal representation during their rejected appeals.
Lawasia is troubled that the death penalty has been resorted to by the military junta in Myanmar, particularly under the questionable guise of combating terrorism, to quell legitimate civil dissent or protest. This would render the executions as state-sanctioned or mandated killings, which is repugnant to the rule of law and a serious violation of international human rights laws.
Lawasia, the law association for Asia and the Pacific, has as one of its objectives, the promotion of the rule of law, access to justice and the protection of human rights in Asia and the Pacific region.
In March 2021 Lawasia released a statement of concern following the military coup in February 2021, stating that the situation indicated a serious violation of international human rights law and standards.
As the situation in Myanmar escalated, Lawasia submitted a communication to the International Criminal Court in May 2021, requesting that the office of the prosecutor investigate, under Article 15 of the Rome Statute, the crimes being perpetrated by the unelected authorities in Myanmar against Myanmar’s civilian population. The letter has been supported by a number of Lawasia’s member organisations.
Laawasia also opposes the regressive step by the junta in resuming the practice of capital punishment, particularly as Myanmar has previously commuted sentences of death penalty to life imprisonment. Lawasia urges the military junta in Myanmar to review their policy on capital punishment.
We reiterate our call on the military junta in Myanmar to immediately release all those who have been detained on political grounds, permit parliament to be restored and to reach a peaceful resolution with all relevant parties, immediately restore open access to the internet and all forms of communications, and ensure that Rohingya and other ethnic minorities are accorded the highest level of protection. – Lawasia