The Irrawaddy

Man Arrested for Fake Facebook Post on ‘Shootout’ in Rakhine

Mrauk-U police charged Myat Thu Tun, pictured, with spreading fake news about Rakhine via Facebook.

YANGON — Mrauk-U Township police have brought a charge against the owner of the Facebook account named “Myat Thu Tun” for sharing false news about the conflict in Rakhine State under Article 68 (a) of the Telecommunications Law.

According to police, Mrauk-U resident Myat Thu Tun, also known as Poe Thiha, on Monday posted a false Burmese-language report on the social media platform reading: “Breaking news: 10:15 pm Maungdaw. At least 10 died in an exchange of gunfire as terrorist Kalars launched attacks near Kyee Kan Pyin. At least 10 died according to initial reports. Detailed reports coming soon.”

In a separate post, he wrote: “Terrorists attack Maungdaw Inn Din police outpost. At least four police were killed.”

Myat Thu Tun has reportedly worked for a number of news agencies over a period of almost 10 years.

“I posted what I wanted to because I had fought with my girlfriend. Just to commemorate the deletion of my account,” he wrote in his final post before deleting the account.

Under Article 68 (a), it is a crime to maliciously communicate false information. The offense carries a maximum sentence of one year’s imprisonment, a fine, or both.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.