Statement on the Burmese Military’s Execution of Four Pro-Democracy Activists

July 25, 2022

Ellicott City, Maryland, USA ——- On July 25, 2022, the Burmese military junta announced its execution of four men on terrorism charges, including the leading democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Ko Jimmy, and former lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw.

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) issues the following statement:

  1. CAM condemns the execution of Kyaw Min Yu, Phyo Zeya Thaw, Hla Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw by the Burmese military. These executions occurred the weekend after the International Court of Justice dismissed the Burmese military’s objections in the Rohingya genocide case on July 22.
  2. CAM urgently calls on the U.S. Senate to pass the BURMA Act of 2021 (S.2937) in order to hold the Burmese military accountable and prevent further human rights violations.

The last such execution occurred in 1976, when ethnic Chin Salai Tin Maung Oo, a student leader in the Burmese pro-democracy movement, was hanged in Insein Prison.

Since the 2021 military coup, the Burmese military has engaged in repression of the pro-democracy movement and atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities such as the Chin. CAM has documented Burmese military atrocities against the Chin people in two reports: “After the 2021 Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Challenges for Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees” (October 2021) and “Seventeen Months After the Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Escalating Persecution of Chin Christians in Chin State and Sagaing Region” (June 2022).

Zo Tum Hmung
Tel. 443-936-8616

The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Ellicott City, Maryland.  CAM empowers the Chin communities in Maryland to be successfully integrated into American society. CAM also advocates for durable solutions for Chin and other refugees and internally displaced persons, and religious freedom and human rights in Burma.

Chins, virtually all of whom are Christians, are an ethnic nationality from Burma. They became Christians primarily due to the missionary efforts of the American Baptist Churches USA. They are a major recent U.S. refugee group that fled from Burma to neighboring countries to escape ethnic, political and religious persecution by the Burmese military since 1962. In 2001, about 1000 Chin asylees came to the U.S through Guam, resettling largely in Maryland, Indiana, Florida, and Texas. Since 2002, the U.S. has resettled many more Chin refugees coming through Malaysia and India. Chins now number 70,000 across the United States, with about 5,000 making Maryland their home.