The military junta that rules Myanmar has again confirmed its brutality by executing four democracy activists.

Cloaked in opaque legal procedures, hidden not only from the public but also from the families of the accused, these are state-sanctioned murders. They prove once again the regime’s utter disregard for human rights and the rule of law. They underscore the need for a united international response to these atrocities. The Myanmar government must be ostracized, isolated and sanctioned until it reverses course, releases its political prisoners and hands power to a duly elected government.

Since seizing power in a coup on Feb. 1, 2021, rejecting the results of the November 2020 election that handed its political proxies a crushing defeat, Myanmar’s military has waged a bloody war against democratic forces and a variety of militia groups. In February, the United Nations human rights office said that it had documented 1,500 people known to have been killed in protests against the coup, a death toll that does not include thousands more who have died as a result of ethnic violence. The U.N. spokesperson said that 200 of those deaths were “due to torture in military custody.”