A prominent celebrity in Myanmar was sentenced to three years in prison with hard labour over his involvement in the country’s pro-democracy and anti-coup movement following the February 1 military takeover.
The 25 year old Burmese actor, singer, and model, Paing Takhon, is famous in both Myanmar and Thailand. He was nominated as the world’s most prestigious man by TC Candler and The Independent Critics.
Because of his role in large protests and impact on his massive social media following, the actor was put on the junta’s wanted list for his influence in the pro-democracy movement. His lawyer, Khin Maung Myint, told AFP, says an appeal will be filed.
Paing Takhon, who had over a million Facebook and Instagram followers, posted images of himself during a rally in a white tracksuit with a megaphone, writing, “Help us end crime against humanity.” He was arrested in early April and trials have been postponed many times.
Shortly after the coup, the military junta made a wanted list including 120 celebrities that may have influence on the public. One celebrity, the former beauty queen Htar Htar Htet, has been an active voice in the movement to fight back and a widely shared photo of her shows her holding an assault rifle with the caption “It’s time to fight back.”