The Myanmar ruling military on Tuesday imposed a death penalty as a punishment for treason, dissent, and other offences against the government. According to reports, the State Administration Council of the military said it would also assume the administration of Yangon's courts.
The military said it would impose harsh sentences, including, but not limited to lengthy prison terms and even death penalties, for offences including treason and dissent, obstructing the military or civil service, spreading false news, and incitement of fear, according to local media.
The offences are among 23 categories of crimes that the order says are subject to court-martial with no appeals allowed for decisions or convictions. However, an application to reverse a death sentence could be made to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of the State Administration Council, within 15 days of a conviction, the order said.
Myanmar’s military conducted a coup on February 1, overthrowing the democratically-elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The military accused the government of engaging in illegal activities, including election fraud and corruption. The junta claimed to be representing the will of the people. However, experts suggest that the coup was orchestrated because the junta feared that Suu Kyi’s government would try to reduce the number of seats reserved for the military in the parliament after winning the 2020 election with a landslide.
After the coup, thousands of protesters took to the streets to oppose the overthrow of the government and to demand the restoration of democracy in Myanmar. The military came crashing hard on pro-democracy protesters, using violent and coercive measures to stop and discourage demonstrators from expressing their independent views.