Insein’s death row prisoners separated from other inmates

Political prisoners facing the death penalty inside Yangon’s Insein Prison have been separated from the rest of the prison population, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The move, which was implemented without prior notice, came immediately after Myanmar’s junta carried out the country’s first executions in decades over the weekend, the sources said.

“We’re worried that this may mean they are planning more executions in the near future,” said a source who frequently visits the prison.

According to another source, a number of prisoners may be at especially high risk, as they have received more than one death sentence for their anti-regime activities.

“A few have been given two or even three death sentences. These are people from the townships under martial law,” said the source, referring to prisoners convicted by military tribunals.

Since seizing power last year, Myanmar’s military has not only expanded its control over the judiciary, but also increased the number of crimes it regards as capital offenses.

After its decision to execute four prisoners, including two of the country’s most prominent dissidents, last weekend, there are growing concerns that more executions may be imminent.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, there are currently 117 people in the country facing the death penalty, including two under the age of 18 and 41 who were sentenced in absentia.

The regime’s announcement on Monday that it had executed veteran activist Ko Jimmy and former MP Phyo Zayar Thaw, as well as Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw—both from Hlaing Thayar, one of 11 townships under martial law—sent shock waves through the country.

The move has also met with international condemnation, with many countries seeing it as further evidence of Myanmar’s descent into lawlessness under military rule.

The executions were “reprehensible acts of violence that further exemplify the regime’s disregard for human rights and the rule of law,” Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Britain, the United States, and the European Union said in a joint statement.

On Tuesday evening, the junta’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also released a statement, saying that the regime would continue to “take necessary legal actions against criminals” and telling foreign governments and agencies to stop interfering in Myanmar’s domestic affairs.

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