Junta sentenced 24 Yangon youths to death last month – including two boys

Seven Yangon health care workers reportedly sentenced to death in March by the military.
Seven Yangon health care workers reportedly sentenced to death in March by the military.

In March alone, military tribunals sentenced 24 of Yangon’s young men and women to die, including health care workers and two boys under 18.

According to its own announcement, the junta sentenced nine youths from Yangon’s Dawbon and Insein townships to death under its anti-terrorism law just yesterday. They were convicted by the military of shooting at security forces and planting landmines.

10 youths were sentenced to seven years in prison by the Insein Prison Court yesterday, according to their lawyers. They were Khin Nyein Thu, a Kingston University graduate, and Hsu Linn Htet. That the military wants to terrify the public into submission was evident in the airing of their mutilated faces on state television. A detainee later released told of Khin being subjected to extensive sexual violence while being held for interrogation.

Five male and two female health care workers in Yangon were also reportedly sentenced to death.

On March 19, 15 youths including two Dagon University students aged 16 and 17, received sentences ranging from life in prison to death from the military council, according to the school’s student union. The military had accused them of killing a high school teacher in North Okkalapa Township and involvement in the shooting death of an administrator in Hlaing Tharyar Township. 

That adds up to 24 youths sentenced to die by the junta in one month.

In the aftermath of the coup, the junta responded to massive protests by arresting, detaining, and opening fire on young people opposed to its rule. 

Military tribunals have been empowered to hand capital punishment in townships where the junta has declared martial law.

BBC Burmese said one of the 15 people sentenced March 19 told their lawyers they didn’t care if they were sentenced to seven or 70 years in prison, and that the public should focus its sympathies on those killed who will never return to their families.

A total of 100 people have been sentenced to die by the junta since the Feb. 1, 2021, coup d’etat, according to human rights group AAPP (Burma) in Mae Sot, Thailand. 

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