NLD Member Detained Under Telecommunications Law

By Moe Myint 3 November 2016

RANGOON – U Myo Yan Naung Thein, a prominent member of the National League of Democracy (NLD) and founder of Bayda Institute, was detained by authorities under Article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law of Burma, Hlaing Township police station confirmed Thursday.

The Irrawaddy asked an officer at the police station whether the arrest concerned a statement U Myo Yan Naung Thein made on his Facebook page on Oct. 14 that criticized Burma Army commander-in-chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing regarding civil war and the attack on Maungdaw Township border posts. The post also accused border affairs ministers of being incompetent.

“The reason for his arrest … is Article 66(d),” the officer said, but declined to provide more information and suggested consulting a higher ranked officer.

The Telecommunication Law’s Article 66(d) states that whoever is found guilty of extorting, coercing, restraining wrongfully, defaming, disturbing, causing undue influence or threatening any person by using any telecommunications network shall be punished with a maximum three years in prison, or a fine, or both.

U Nay Myo Aung, a colleague of U Myo Yan Naung Thein, was with U Myo Yan Naung when he was arrested at a coffee shop near NLD headquarters on Thursday at 3 p.m.

U Nay Myo Aung told The Irrawaddy that about six people, some of them in police uniform took U Myo Yan Naung Thein into police custody.

U Nay Myo Aung said he speculates that his workmate was detained for spreading criticism of Burma Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing.