Myanmar Junta Arrests Hip-Hop Artist for Criticizing Power Shortages

By The Irrawaddy 25 May 2023

Myanmar junta forces arrested hip-hop artist Byuhar in Yangon on Wednesday for criticizing the regime’s inability to supply sufficient electricity for the country, according to reports from local media and pro-junta news channels.

Popular hip-hop artist Byuhar after being detained by regime forces / From pro-junta news channels

Since the 2021 military coup, Myanmar citizens have endured the return of prolonged power outages in the country, even in the commercial capital Yangon and second-largest city, Mandalay.

The situation has gotten worse since last year, with electricity supply reduced to three or four hours per day on a rotation basis, creating hardships for people’s daily lives and for businesses.

In a Facebook livestream on Tuesday night, the hip-hop artist, who is popular among youth in Myanmar, strongly criticized the military regime’s leaders and the junta-appointed Ministry of Electric Power for failing to supply enough electricity.

“In the five years under the previous government led by the old lady [ousted State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi], we even enjoyed discounted power bills and there were no power blackouts,” Byuhar said.

He also said the military regime did not have good will or show kindness to the people of the country.

The next day, a large number of regime forces arrested Byuhar after raiding his apartment in Yangon’s North Dagon Township, local residents close to the artist told the media.

His current whereabouts are unknown.