Burma: prison protests after execution of activists


Inmates at Burma’s Insein Prison launched a protest on July 25 in response to the announcement by the ruling junta that four political prisoners who had been held in the Yangon facility were executed. Several people who took part in the uprising were physically assaulted by prison authorities, and some 15 were removed to isolation cells separate from the general population, according to a source within the facility. Among the executed were two of Burma’s leading dissidents—Ko Jimmy, 52, a veteran of the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, and Phyo Zayar Thaw, 41, a hip-hop star and former MP with the National League for Democracy (NLD). The two longtime activists were sentenced to death in January for allegedly plotting to carry out attacks on regime targets. Amnesty International said it believes the charges against them were politically motivated.

The two other men put to death were Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, both convicted in the murder of a suspected junta informant. These were Burma’s first executions since 1988. Executions in Burma are traditionally carried out by hanging. (Myranmar Now, Myanmar Now, Amnesty International, BBC News, First Post)

Photo: Myanmar Now