Kyaw Min Yu, a pro-democracy activist recently executed by Myanmar's junta, being released from prison in 2012 (Image: AAP/AP)
Kyaw Min Yu is one of the pro-democracy activists recently executed by Myanmar's junta (Image: AAP/AP)

The execution of four democracy activists in Myanmar by the country’s military leaders has triggered a chorus of condemnation from most leaders around the world.

The junta has killed 326 political prisoners since the military seized power in a coup on February 1 2020, but the executions of Kyaw Min Yu (aka Ko Jimmy), Phyo Zeya Thaw, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw are the first instances of capital punishment in Myanmar since the late 1980s.

It is believed more than 100 others are also on death row after similarly secret convictions. Human rights organisations are urging world leaders to act immediately. The UN issued a statement calling the executions "depraved", and the National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG) called on the global community to “punish their cruelty”.