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Junta sentences 4 men to death in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region

Four men from Ayeyarwady region’s Bogale township have been given the death penalty for murdering a suspected military informer, residents told RFA Thursday.

The Pyapon District Court handed down the sentence Tuesday on Zaw Win Tun, Naing Wai Lin, Min Thu Aung and Pyae Sone Phyo after more than a year of investigation.

“During the water festival in Bogale township’s neighborhood six, a woman called Thuzar Gyi who was a moneylender with a loud voice was shot dead in the market,” said a township resident who declined to give their name for fear of reprisals.

The four men have been taken to Pathein Prison, locals said.

Four people have been executed since receiving the death penalty following the February 2021 coup. They include prominent 88-Generation student leader Kyaw Min Yu (known as Ko Jimmy) and Phyo Zayar Thaw, a rapper and MP for the National League for Democracy, the party which swept to victory in 2020 and has now been disqualified from taking part in elections.

The junta is increasingly relying on the death penalty to suppress dissent by accusing pro-democracy activists of murder. On November 30 last year, a military court in Yangon sentenced seven students from Dagon University Students’ Union to death in connection with the killing of a former military officer.

Excluding the four men sentenced this week, a total of 146 people have received the death penalty since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn and Elaine Chan.