Yangon, 4 October
More than 100 social media users have been arrested and charged with terrorism for criticizing the military regime in two months after extending emergency rule.
Than Lwin Times found that the above incidents happened in regions and states except Chin and Kayah states, after verifying the junta-owned propaganda daily newspaper Mirror in the two months of August and September.
Among those arrested were nearly 100 Facebook users and nine TikTok users, with more than 70 people from the Yangon and Mandalay regions having the largest numbers.
Those arrested were charged with Section 52(a) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, which carries a prison sentence of three to 10 years if convicted, and Section 124(a) of the Criminal Code, which carries a life sentence.
In addition, the military council has announced that they may be prosecuted under Article 505(a) of the Defamation of the State and Article 33(a) of the Electronic Transactions Law, as well as confiscation of movable and immovable property related to the crime under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
According to Than Lwin Times’ analysis, the military council has been reporting in the newspaper almost every day about identifying and taking action against the organizations that are affiliated with the National Unity Government (NUG) and Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), which they consider to be terrorists.
The military council has warned that those who support inciting and spreading propaganda with the aim of disrupting national stability and government mechanisms will be dealt with effectively in accordance with the law.
In the third week of August, hip-hop singer Byu Har, who criticized the military council on Facebook over the power outages, was sentenced to 20 years in prison under Section 505(a) and Section 123(a) of the Penal Code for defamation of the state.
According to this year’s report released by the international human rights group Freedom House, Myanmar ranks ninth among the countries with the least freedom of expression.
News-Than Lwin Times