A Myanmar military tribunal has handed down death sentences to eight more youths accused of attacking junta targets in Yangon, bringing the total number of those facing the death penalty since the coup to over 110. They were sentenced under the Counter-Terrorism Law.
One of the eight was sentenced in absentia and the others in person on Wednesday. The junta claimed in an announcement on Thursday that the eight including two women killed an alleged informant in North Okkalapa Township and were involved in gun and explosives attacks on the township police station and its forces.
The junta added that the youths had associated with designated terrorist groups.
Death sentences have been handed down to anti-regime protesters in townships currently under martial law, despite international condemnation. The military regime has imposed martial law in Hlaing Tharyar, Shwepyithar, South Dagon, North Dagon, Dagon Seikkan and North Okkalapa townships in Yangon, as well as in townships in Mandalay.
Until late last month, the junta had sentenced 98 people to death including two minors for the alleged offenses of high treason; sedition; obstructing military personnel and civil servants performing their duties; and having ties to unlawful associations, according to rights group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
The junta on Thursday also handed harsh sentences to more than a dozen young people opposed to its rule.
Among them were Yangon University of Economics Students’ Union chair and treasurer Ko Khant Thu Aung, as well as Ma Yin Myat Noe Oo, Ko Phyo Kyawt Naing and Ko Min Hein Khant from the same university. The four were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment with hard labor by Yangon’s Insein Prison Court on Thursday under incitement charges for allegedly supplying information to a foreign journalist.
Ma Yin Myat Noe Oo, 22, also previously faced a three-year prison term under the same charge for putting up anti-junta posters.
Dagon University student Ko Kyaw Linn Htut; Ma Su Yee Lin, a member of a Yangon-based students’ union; and freelance journalist Ko Zaw Linn Htut were also sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
In Dawei city, Tanintharyi Region, three youths—Ma Soe Mie Mie Kyaw, who earlier attempted to commit suicide after being tortured, Ko Soe Pyae Aung and Ma
Shar Pyae Khin—were handed an additional five years in prison on top of their previous two-year sentences by the Dawei Prison Court on Thursday.
Since the coup, the junta has killed at least 1,723 people and arrested more than 13,000 including elected leaders, lawmakers, activists, medics, students and children, mostly for opposing its rule.
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