Conflicts & War

Ex-Myanmar minister gets 10 years in jail for criticizing junta

Bangkok, Nov 29 (EFE).- Myanmar’s former information minister was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday for criticizing the military junta on social media.

Ye Htut, an ex-lieutenant colonel, who served as information minister in the military-led government of President Thein Sein, was sentenced by a special court weeks after his arrest for “incitement” and spreading “false news” online, according to media reports.

The former politician was accused, without specifying when, of violating article 505A of the penal code which is “a broad, ill-defined anti-state provision that penalizes incitement and false news with two- and three-year prison sentences,” according to news portal Irrawaddy.

The ex-minister often criticized the military junta’s policies after a coup in 2021 that put an end to a decade of democratic transition and the elected government of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ye Htut’s imprisonment comes amid escalated rebellion by minority militias and pro-democratic forces.

Analysts point to the junta’s nervousness over the rebel offensive launched by a group of three powerful ethnic guerrillas known as the Brotherhood Alliance in the northeastern state of Shan.

The guerrillas have since spread to other areas of the north, center, and west of the country.

The 2021 coup plunged Myanmar into a deep political, social, and economic crisis and has opened a spiral of violence that has exacerbated decades of guerrilla warfare in the country with the emergence of new anti-junta militias. EFE

ak-pav/up/ssk

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