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Myanmar junta arrests prominent celebrity over protest support

Bangkok / Myanmar’s ruling junta arrested the model and actor Paing Takhon on Thursday, accused of inciting violence by showing public support for the protests against February’s military coup.

The popular 24-year-old model was arrested early in the morning at his home in Yangon by security forces, his manager Yee Mon Kyaw said.

“He was very ill at this time so we could not transfer him to another place for his safety. Please talk about him and pray for his safety,” the agent said on Facebook.

Paing Takhon, who participated in demonstrations opposing the military and has openly shown supported social media dissenters, is on the list of more than 100 public figures on whom the military junta has recently issued an arrest warrant.

The military accuse these figures, among which are journalists, of trying to destabilize the country through social network messages and propaganda in favor of the group of elected parliamentarians which the military junta deposed during the Feb. 1 coup.

Paing Takhon, who had 1.2 million followers on Instagram before his profile was deleted in the last hours, is one of the best-known faces in show business arrested since the miltary seized power.

On Tuesday, popular Myanmar comedian and actor Zarganar, 60, who had already been a political prisoner during previous governments of the military junta, was arrested on the same charges.

Despite the brutal repression exerted by the police and soldiers, in which at least 598 people have died according to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners – including 12 on Wednesday – the demonstrations against the coup continue throughout the country.

Since the uprising and until Wednesday, authorities have detained at least 3,577 people, of whom 2,847 remain in custody, including deposed head of the government Aung San Suu Kyi, the association said.

The military justified the coup on alleged electoral fraud during November’s general elections, in which Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide following polls considered legitimate by international observers. (April 8, 2021, EFE/PracticaEspañol)

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