NLD member latest arrested under Telecommunications Law

By HEIN KO SOE | FRONTIER

YANGON — National League for Democracy member U Myo Yan Naung Thein has become the latest person to be arrested under Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law, an act used to prosecute “defamatory” social media posts.

Myo Yan Naung Thein was arrested by plainclothes police officers at Bahan Township’s Yuzana Hotel on November 3, his brother Ko Myo Htain Tan Htein told Frontier by telephone on November 4.

“We don’t know what evidence there is to arrest my brother. The police haven’t shown any evidence and they didn’t show a search warrant,” he said.

An official from Hlaing Police Station confirmed to Frontier on October 4 that Myo Yan Naung Thein had been arrested under the law for making offensive comments about the military on social media.

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He said the comments were related to the military’s operations in northern Rakhine State, where security forces have conducted a crackdown since militants attacked police outposts on October 9.

The complainant was named as Lt-Col. Lynn Tun from the military’s Yangon Regional Command.  

Myo Yan Naung Thein has been arrested twice before, once in 1996 and again in 2007.

His trial is due to begin on November 9.

Since the law was enacted in 2013, the Telecommunications Law has been used to arrest numerous activists and citizens in the country. Among them last year was Kachin civil society activist U Patrick Khum Jaa Lee, who was released in April after spending six months in prison.

By Hein Ko Soe

By Hein Ko Soe

Hein Ko Soe is a Myanmar reporter. Prior to joining Frontier he worked on staff at Mizzima.
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