One of Myanmar’s most well-known celebrities has been sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the large protests that erupted in the aftermath of a military coup in February.
Paing Takhon, a popular model and actor, took part in anti-coup rallies and has been vociferous in his criticism of the government on social media.
After allegations of election fraud, Myanmar’s military seized control.
Since then, it has waged a harsh repression campaign.
According to a Facebook post by Takhon’s sister, roughly 50 troops arrived in eight military trucks at 05:00 local time in April to arrest him.
His lawyer, Khin Maung Myint, told reporters that he had been sentenced to hard labor and that his family was debating whether or not to appeal.
The 24-year-old has previously been observed taking part in a number of marches and protests.
He also shared photos of Aung San Suu Kyi, the former civilian leader and pro-democracy hero who was sentenced to four years in prison for inciting unrest and violating Covid-19 norms, the first of a series of judgements that may see her imprisoned for the rest of her life.
“We vehemently oppose military coups. We demand that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, civilian government ministries, and elected members of parliament be released immediately “In an online post, Mr Takhon is claimed to have said.
“We demand that the 2020 election results be respected and that the NLD-led parliament create a new civillian [sic] administration as soon as possible.”
His Instagram account, which had over a million followers, and his Facebook account were both taken down immediately after his arrest. His Instagram account, on the other hand, appears to have been restored by a fan account.
When Takhon was detained, a close friend of his, who did not want to be identified, told reporters that he was suffering from depression and a medical problem, and that he couldn’t even “stand correctly.”
They did say, however, that he was “informed of the penalties” that awaited him and that he was “not afraid at all.”
They also stated that both of his cellphones were taken with him.
Takhon was not the only celebrity seized by authorities; a Myanmar beauty contest winner who spoke out against the coup as well as a well-known comedian were also jailed.
Myanmar’s military commanders seized control in February after the government National League of Democracy was defeated in a landslide election.
Despite the fact that the country’s electoral commission said there was no proof to substantiate these assertions, it said it had no option but to conduct the coup.
The coup d’état provoked large-scale public protests around the country, which the military violently suppressed.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 1,178 individuals have been slain and 7,355 detained, accused, or convicted in a crackdown on dissent since then.