The head of the United Nations organization for human rights, Volker Turk, said that more than 130 people who oppose the government of Myanmar have been sentenced to death.
Myanmar’s military government is using capital punishment as a tool to crack down on opponents of its rule and has ordered the execution of more than 130 dissidents since February 2021, the United Nations chief said.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said on Friday that at least seven university students were sentenced to death behind closed doors on Wednesday, and there were reports that four more youths were sentenced on Thursday.
Turkey has called for a moratorium on all executions and for Myanmar’s military to halt the use of the death penalty.
“The military continues to prosecute cases in secret courts in violation of fair trial principles and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of an independent and impartial judiciary,” he said in a statement.
The military has also shown disdain for international peace efforts “by using death sentences as a tool to eliminate the opposition,” the UN official said.
The Students’ Union of Dagon University in Yangon – the country’s largest city – announced on Thursday that seven university students between the ages of 18 and 24 who were arrested on April 21 were sentenced to death on Wednesday by a military court at Yangon’s Insein prison. .
An official of the Dagon University Students’ Union told The Associated Press that the seven are accused of joining a rural militia that opposes military rule and were found guilty of murder for their involvement in the shooting of a bank branch manager in April.
At least 2,000 people have also been killed since the military seized power and toppled the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, said Duwa Lashi La, head of the anti-military junta.
Duwa Lashi La, vice president of the National Unity Government (NUG), which includes the remnants of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others, told Reuters on Thursday that the death toll was high but “at a price.” we have to pay” to reject the soldiers.
The crackdown on peaceful protests against military rule has now fueled a popular armed resistance movement and this has increased military repression, especially in rural areas.
In late July, the military hanged four political activists in the country’s first coup in at least 30 years.
The hanging drew criticism from the West and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which have tried to resolve the crisis with a five-point peace plan that the military government has failed to implement.
Although the West has said that it supports the NUG and approves military and industrial leaders, it has stopped providing military aid to the rebels and says that ASEAN is the best place to solve the problem peacefully.