Myanmar man faces 3 years jail for insulting Suu Kyi

Zaw Zaw one of many held for defaming political leaders under draconian junta enacted law lately used by civilian gov't

Myanmar man faces 3 years jail for insulting Suu Kyi

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Myanmar national has been arrested for insulting political leaders on Facebook in posts that included threats against high-ranking officials such as State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.

One post in September includes a photo of Suu Kyi alongside the phrase “When Suu Kyi worked as a housemaid in England”.

Another read: “It would be a good idea to pay compensation of 4,000,000 Kyats [$3,190] after stabbing [President] Htin Kyaw and Suu Kyi with knife and scissors, slapping their faces and breaking their fingers.”

Police said Tuesday that Zaw Zaw -- also known as Nga Phar -- was arrested Monday at his house in North Dagon Township in the commercial capital Yangon.

 “He was detained since yesterday, and is now being held at the police station for initial questioning,” local police officer Win Nyunt Htoo told Anadolu Agency by phone.

“The township court will decide in days if a defamation charge brought against him under the Telecommunications Law will be accepted.”

If the court accepts the charge, Zaw Zaw will face up to three years in prison, a fine or both under section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Act

The act penalizes "extortion, coercion, restraining wrongfully, defaming, disturbing, causing undue influence or threatening any person by using any Telecommunications Network” with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, a fine, or both.

Win Nyunt Htoo added that the arrest came after a member of Suu Kyi’s ruling party National League for Democracy (NLD) reported the case to police.

Section 66 (d) was originally enacted by the former junta in 2004.

It is one of several repressive laws used to target activists which local and international human rights advocacy groups have called to be repealed, however Myanmar’s first elected civilian government has continued to prosecute people under the law since it took power in late March.

Almost all cases were brought by members of the ruling NLD.

On Tuesday, Nay Myo Kyaw, an NLD member who filed the case against Zaw Zaw, told Anadolu Agency the party respects freedom of expression.

“But freedom of expression is not for insulting others,” he said by phone. “This man insulted our leaders several times on Facebook.”

Last week, two men who were reported to have been "drinking" near the political capital Nay Pyi Taw were charged with allegedly defaming Suu Kyi with insulting words.

In September, a man in Myawaddy, a small town near the Myanmar-Thailand border, was sentenced to nine months prison for a Facebook post in which he called the country's president “a crazy”.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Ekim 2016, 12:19