The UN Security Council has condemned the Myanmar junta’s execution of four prisoners, drawing praise on Thursday from a shadow government of ousted Myanmar lawmakers.
In a rare consensus on the post-coup crisis, the Security Council on Wednesday released a statement condemning the executions – Myanmar’s first in decades – and calling for the immediate release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
“The members of the Security Council condemned the Myanmar military’s execution of opposition activists over the weekend,” the Council said.
“They recalled the Secretary-General’s statement of 25 July 2022 and echoed his call for the immediate release of all arbitrarily detained prisoners.”
The statement was endorsed by Russia and China – the junta’s two major allies that have previously shielded it at the UN – as well as neighbouring India.
“Welcome UN Security Council condemning execution of democracy activists”, said the “National Unity Government” (NUG) on a verified Twitter account.
It was time for the council to “take concrete actions against the junta”, it added.
The NUG – dominated by lawmakers from Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted party – has been working to topple the coup and been declared a “terrorist” organisation by the junta.
The executions announced Monday sparked condemnation from around the globe, heightened fears that more will follow and prompted calls for sterner international measures against the already-isolated junta.
Among the four executed were Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former lawmaker from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) and veteran democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu – better known as “Jimmy”.
Both were sentenced to death under anti-terrorism laws.
The junta is increasingly isolated on the world stage, with Cambodian leader Hun Sen the only head of state to have visited since the coup that plunged the country into turmoil.
The Cambodian PM had also made a personal request to junta chief Min Aung Hlaing not to go ahead with the executions.
Myanmar’s junta has lashed out against international condemnation of its use of capital punishment, saying the four executed prisoners “deserved many death sentences”.