Activist countries

Myanmar executes activists for first time in decades; Other countries that have executed activists

Myanmar’s ruling military junta has carried out executions for the first time in decades, killing four people, including pro-democracy activists. The executions were detailed in the state-run “Mirror Daily”. Among the men executed were Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former leader of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, and Kyaw Min Yu, a 53-year-old democracy activist. Both were executed for terrorism despite pleas for clemency from the United Nations, ASEAN and other democracies.

Here is a list of countries that have also executed activists in the past.


China is the most prolific user of the death penalty, executing more registered people than the rest of the world combined. The country executes rapists, drug dealers and murderers as well as billionaires accused of corruption, political leaders who have engaged in corruption with spies. But the country has also executed Uighur and Tibetan activists like Ismail Semed and Lobsang Dhondup on terrorism charges.


Belarus is the only country on the European continent to still pronounce the death penalty. The exact number of executions in the country is not known as the government of dictator Alexander Lukashenko has not shared any data since 2006. However, with the war of Russian aggression against Ukraine, three Belarusian activists could be executed after being accused of carrying out railway sabotage in Belarus. in order to impede the movement of Russian troops.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is also one of the most prolific users of the death penalty with several crimes punishable by death, including apostasy and blasphemy. Earlier in the year, the country executed 81 people in its largest mass execution on record. The country has convicted and executed activists in the past, including Nimr Al Nimr, a Shiite sheikh from Saudi Arabia’s eastern provinces.


With 3,800 people awaiting execution in Pakistan, the country is one of the worst in terms of the number of people on death row. The country had executed Saulat Ali Khan, a political activist convicted of murder in 2015.


Under military autocrat Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Al Gaddafi, Libya saw the execution of several activists in judicial and extrajudicial executions at the start of the Arab Spring movement. Demonstrators and activists have been routinely executed by government forces to disperse demonstrations.