The SAC has roundly rejected an appeal from Cambodian PM Hun Sen asking that it reconsider the executions of two of Burma’s leading democracy figures.
The PM wrote to junta leader Min Aung Hlaing this Friday requesting the military regime shelve its plans to execute the men on political grounds, according to Nikkei Asia which received a copy of the note.
Hun Sen is reported to have told the senior general that the pledged executions of prominent activist, Ko Jimmy, former NLD representative, Phyo Zeya Thaw, and two other men would only increase international condemnation of the military and complicate Cambodia’s peace efforts in Burma.
“With deep concern and sincere desire to help Myanmar achieve peace and national reconciliation, I would like to earnestly request you and the State Administrative Council (SAC) to reconsider the sentences and refrain from carrying out the death sentences given to those anti-SAC individuals,” the letter said.
Despite the Cambodian PM’s authoritarian tendencies, Cambodia is the only ASEAN member along with the Philippines that has fully abolished the death penalty.
Malaysia this week also voted to remove the section of its penal code which facilitated mandatory death sentences, instead giving judges the discretion to choose whether certain convicts should face capital punishment.
However, as with many of the Cambodian leader’s recent appeals to the SAC, it appears that Hun Sen’s concerns have fallen on deaf ears as the junta has rejected pleas and vowed to continue with the executions, sending a response to the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh outlining the junta’s legal basis behind the executions based on allegations against Ko Jimmy and Zeya Thaw, BBC Burmese has reported.
If the military does go ahead with its pledge to hang the group, the executions will be the first in Burma since 1989, and the first executions of political dissidents since Chin student leader Salai Tin Maung Oo was hanged on June 26, 1976.
Numerous nations — including the US, Taiwan, and the Nordic countries, — INGOs, and human rights groups have condemned the military since it announced that it was to proceed with death sentences handed to the pair in late January.
Despite these calls, there are, as yet, no signs that the junta intends to deviate from its plans to execute the men.