Myanmar junta pardons actor jailed for dissent | Inquirer News

Myanmar junta pardons actor jailed for dissent

/ 05:55 PM March 02, 2022
Paing Takhon Myanmar

Model, actor and singer Paing Takhon wears a traditional Chinese outfit while holding a sign during a demonstration against the military coup in front of the Chinese embassy in Yangon on February 11, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

YANGON — A leading Myanmar actor, singer and model jailed for supporting pro-democracy protests has been pardoned and released, his legal team said on Wednesday.

Paing Takhon, 25 — a star in both Myanmar and neighbouring Thailand — had been active in the mass protests that rocked the country following last year’s coup, leading rallies and advocating through his massive social media following.

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He was arrested in a dawn raid at his mother’s home in Yangon in April and in December was jailed for three years with hard labour for spreading dissent against the military.

READ: Myanmar actor Paing Takhon arrested as junta hunts 120 celebrities

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On Wednesday, he was pardoned and released and had arrived home, his lawyer told AFP, without giving details.

In a statement, the junta confirmed his release, along with actors Lu Min, Pyi Ti Oo and Eaindra Kyaw Zin, “in order for them to participate in nation-building with their art.”

It did not give further details.

In February 2021, Paing Takhon — who had more than a million followers on Facebook and Instagram — posted pictures of himself in a white tracksuit with a megaphone, hard hat and a white fluffy dog strapped to his chest at a protest.

The heartthrob is also famous in Thailand, where he has appeared in TV shows and commercials.

Soon after the coup, the junta published a list of some 120 celebrities wanted for arrest.

Several are still on the run.

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More than 1,500 people have been killed in the military’s crackdown on dissent following the ousting of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government last February, according to a local monitoring group.

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TAGS: Military, Myanmar Junta, Paing Takhon, Unrest
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