Burmese model and actor Paing Takhon (ပိုင်တံခွန်) was arrested on 8th April for backing up the anti-coup protests in Myanmar.
These daily protests have been carried out in the country ever since the military seized power on 1st February. Furthermore, authorities have already killed 600 civilians and arrested more than 2,800 people, as of now.
According to the 24-year-old’s sister Thi Thi Lwin, Takhon was taken away when eight military trucks carrying 50 soldiers showed up at their mother’s home in Yangon. Lwin and one of Takhon’s acquaintances also mentioned that the model’s mobile phones were confiscated as well.
Takhon was also suffering from poor health conditions during that time such as severe depression, a physical condition where he couldn’t stand or walk properly, and malaria.
He was also “aware of the consequences” that awaited him, but he wasn’t scared one bit. The Burmese actor wrote on Wednesday, “I haven’t been in good health for many days. I used to pray whenever I worshipped Buddha for good health and to get peace in Myanmar as soon as possible.”
Takhon now faces charges for criminalising comments that caused fear or spread fake news. As a result, the Burmese actor and model could face up to three years in prison, as the law falls under section 505a of the penal code. Moreover, his social media accounts have also been shut down without knowing who deleted them.
The 24-year-old model has been seen in several demonstrations and marches while also posting images of Aung San Suu Kyi (အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည်), an ousted civilian leader and a pro-democracy icon of Myanmar. Two months ago in February, Takhon posted images of himself wearing a white tracksuit with a megaphone, a hard hat, and a white fluffy dog strapped to his chest during a protest. He also wrote, “Help us stop crime against humanity” on Instagram during the same month.
Takhon also made statements against the coup online, “We strongly condemn the military coup. We demand the immediate release of state counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, civilian government ministers, and elected members of parliament. We demand the government to respect the 2020 election results and form a new civilian government soonest by NLD led parliament.”
The junta that arrested Takhon has been hunting numerous other celebrities for speaking out against the coup with around 120 of them wanted for arrest. The names and pictures of these popular icons have been placed in the daily wanted lists all over television and in state-run newspapers by the military.
Since then, actress May Toe Khine (မေတိုးခိုင်) tweeted out, “Free the artists!! Free Paing Takhon, Win Min Than, Ye Tike, Lu Min, Saw Phoe Khwar, Min Htin KoKo Gyi, and Zarganar, who’ve all used their platform to voice out for the truth. Please pray for their safety and speak out for them.”
Free the artists!! Free Paing Takhon, Win Min Than, Ye Tike, Lu Min, Saw Phoe Khwar, Min Htin KoKo Gyi and Zarganar who used their platform to voice out for the truth. Please pray for their safety and speak out for them. #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #Apr8Coup pic.twitter.com/ywjoQ9oD3i
— May Toe Khine (@maytoekhine) April 8, 2021
As mentioned before, Takhon was arrested in Yangon, where activists have placed shoes filled with flowers to commemorate the dead protesters who’ve fought for their country.
On Wednesday, troops had opened fire on pro-democracy protesters that ended the lives of at least 15 people and leaving dozens wounded.