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World News

Christian organisation calls for 'turning point' as four activists killed in Myanmar

by Sophie Drew

A Christian organisation has spoken out against the execution of four democracy activists in Myanmar.

Phyo Zeya Thaw, Ko Jimmy, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw were all killed by the army, known as the Tatmadaw, and accused of helping to carry out 'terror acts.'

Since the military took power, in a coup in early 2021, 2,114 people had been killed, 14,847 had been arrested, and 11,759 people remained detained as of 22nd July 2022.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide's (CSW) senior analyst for East Asia Benedict Rogers said: "CSW extends our deepest condolences to the loved ones of Phyo Zeya Thaw, Ko Jimmy, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw. 

"Their executions are a blight on the conscience of the international community, which has failed to take significant action as the Tatmadaw has waged egregious violence against innocent civilians for nearly 18 months. 

"We call for this moment to be a turning point, and urge UN Member States to move beyond the initial imposition of sanctions by some countries and to a more co-ordinated and concrete response which includes a full and comprehensive global arms embargo against the military and co-ordinated, comprehensive sanctions against its enterprises."

The killings have attracted condemnation from far beyond the Christian church. 

Tom Andrews, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, wrote in a statement: "These depraved acts must be a turning point for the international community. 

"What more must the junta do before the international community is willing to take strong action? The widespread and systematic murders of protesters, indiscriminate attacks against entire villages, and now the execution of opposition leaders, demands an immediate and firm response by member states of the United Nations.

"The status quo of international inaction must be firmly rejected."

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