The United States joined the host of nations and organizations expressing outrage at the executions of four political activists by Burma’s military regime.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the Burma military regime’s executions of pro-democracy activists and elected leaders Ko Jimmy, Phyo Zey Thaw, Hia Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw for the exercise of their fundamental freedoms,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a written statement.
He noted that since the February 2021 coup in Burma, “the regime has perpetuated violence against its own people, killing more than 2,100, displacing more than 700,000, and detaining thousands of innocent people, including members of civil society and journalists.”
The executions of the four activists occurred after proceedings before a military-controlled court.
At a press briefing, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price described the executions as “a heinous affront to human rights” and he called on “all partners and allies to join us in condemning the regime’s actions and stepping up pressure on the regime and its supporters.”
“There can be no business as usual with this regime,” he said. “We urge all countries to ban the sale of military equipment to Burma, to refrain from lending the regime any degree of international credibility, and we call on ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] to maintain its important precedent [of] only allowing Burmese non-political representation at regional events.”
Spokesperson Price said all options are on the table to cut off the regime’s revenue and its ability to perpetuate violence. He added the United States will work with partners to make sure additional steps are coordinated in order to put maximum pressure on the regime, and not on the Burmese people.
As Secretary of State Blinken stated, “The United States joins the people of Burma in their pursuit of freedom and democracy and calls on the regime to respect the democratic aspirations of the people who have shown they do not want to live one more day under the tyranny of military rule.”