Myanmar with more and more extrajudicial killings

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – July 09 Scenes

MoeMaKa, July 10, 2023

Myanmar with more and more extrajudicial killings


Incidents of “extrajudicial killing” or extrajudicial execution in terms of law and political science have been increasing gradually after the military coup, and in the past 2 years, we have seen and heard that it has become increasingly common.


Recently, there have been reports that some of the political prisoners who were taken out for prison transfer were shot dead on the road, and recently, 2 youths who were arrested for the alleged assassination of singer Lily Naing Kyaw were shot dead at an intersection in South Dagon Township because they fled while being taken out to show evidence. It has been reported that a young student union leader in Bago Division, Ko Khant Lin Naing, died after being taken out of Daik-U Township’s Kyaik Sa Kaw prison for transfer, along with 2 others. It is also a situation where no one can say exactly how and what happened. A few weeks before that incident, we heard the news that Ko Thant Zin Win from the Bago People’s Defense Force, had died after being taken out for an interrogation.


These incidents are events that lead to the conclusion that those accused and punished for being related to political parties, especially armed movements, who are still detained in the prison and are still facing trial in court, were taken out of the prison and tortured to death.


In the villages, the locals were arrested and killed on suspicion and accusations every day, or almost every week, somewhere in Myanmar. Every day, we hear about elderly people who cannot escape being burned to death, houses being burned, and residents being shot by the marching military junta’s column. Now, the above incidents are not even considered urgent as extrajudicial killings, and they are passed over as if they were regular incidents in the news. On the other hand, there are some retaliatory killings by the PDFs against people called Pyu Saw Htee (in other words, the militia under the Military Council). At least 15 people, including children, were killed in an incident in Ngwetwin Village in Ayadaw Township in recent days.


Targeted assassinations of former military officers, people working in businesses related to the military council, and their family members in the cities have been increasing gradually since the end of 2021, when the military coup took place, and are still happening to this day. The number of extrajudicial killings committed by the military council is greater than the number of assassinations carried out by underground armed groups in the city. International law defines the crimes committed by the military council’s armed forces as more serious crimes because they are committed by an organization called the government of the country. On the other hand, there may be a view that the assassinations committed by the anti-military council forces should not be compared to the extrajudicial killings committed by the military council’s forces or non-governmental organizations. However, extrajudicial killings should be defined as it is according to principle regardless of which organization commits them. It is necessary to record the extrajudicial killings, regardless of which organization committed them, and at some point, the responsible person or group must try to apologize to the family and society for the damages.


It is necessary to be aware that extrajudicial killings, rather than achieving political goals, can only lead to disgust, fear, and resentment among the public towards the organization that commits the crime.