Speaking at a press briefing, Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson for the military government, said, "If we compare their sentence with other death penalty cases, they have committed crimes for which they should have been given death sentences many times."
The four men, who had been sentenced to death in closed-door trials in January and April, had been charged with helping militias combat the army, as per Reuters.
Further, the military spokesperson stated that the death penalty was given after the defendants "were given the right to defend themselves according to court procedure."
He added, "They harmed many innocent people. There were many big losses which could not be replaced."
The prisoners, including pro-democracy figure Kyaw Min Yu, aka Jimmy, former lawmaker and hip-hop artist Phyo Zeya Thaw (who was an ally of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi), Hla Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw, had been allowed to meet family members through videoconferencing, he informed.
Thaw’s wife, however, said that she had not been informed about her husband's execution.
Criticism from the United Nations and Western countries over the death sentences had been previously rejected by the junta as "irresponsible and reckless."
Myanmar's National Unity Government (NUG), a shadow administration banned by the ruling junta, had slammed the executions and called for action to be taken against the army on a global scale.
"Extremely saddened. (We) condemn the junta's cruelty. The global community must punish their cruelty," the NUG president’s office spokesperson Kyaw Zaw had said.
The Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP), an activist group, said that the last judicial executions in Myanmar had been carried out in the 1980s.
The move drew condemnation from several global bodies.
Slamming the executions, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said, "I am outraged and devastated at the news of the junta's execution of Myanmar patriots and champions of human rights and democracy."