Veteran Student Leaders, Rocker, Social Influencers on Myanmar Military's Arrest Warrant

By The Irrawaddy 13 February 2021

Arrest warrants have been issued for seven people — including veteran student leaders as well as social influencers — accusing them of incitement against Myanmar’s military regime. The warrants were announced Saturday evening by Myanmar’s military.

Those facing arrest are U Min Ko Naing and Kyaw Min Yu (a.k.a. Ko Jimmy) who are the veteran democracy activists and leaders of the 1988 uprising; singer Linn Linn, who is a former bodyguard of detained leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; Insein Aung Soe; Myo Yan Naung Thein, the director of Bayda Institute for a Just Society; presenter Maung Maung Aye and Facebook cele Ei Pencilo. They are charged with incitement, under Article 505 [b] of the Penal Code.

The military is alleging that the accused made and circulated a statement on social media intending to undermine the peace and order of the state.

The charge has been widely used to stifle political dissent under previous military regimes. If found guilty, the accused face up to two years in prison.

Since the pre-dawn coup on Feb. 1, the military has detained more than 300 people. Veteran leaders went into hiding but put out messages online daily to anti-coup protesters. Their social media messages also called for civil servants to take part in the civil disobedience movement (CDM).

Since last week, U Min Ko Naing also urged the public to boycott the businesses run by the military.

The accused actively support the CDM and are organizing to financially support those government staff, who take part in the CDM. Started by healthcare workers, the CDM movement is gaining momentum with some police, teachers, engineers, railways staff, as well as news announcers from the ministry of information boycotting the coup.

The military attempted to arrest the cele Ei Pencilo during the coup day, but have been unsuccessful.

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