Myanmar rapper detained for junta criticism 2023
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Myanmar rapper detained for junta criticism 2023

A popular rapper in Myanmar who criticized the junta for widespread power outages has been detained for “spreading propaganda,” according to the military, the latest arrest in a broad crackdown on dissent.

Tuesday, Byu Har uploaded a video to his hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers in which he criticized the junta for the continuous power disruptions that have plagued Myanmar in recent weeks.

He ridiculed junta leader Min Aung Hlaing and claimed that the power supply was better managed during the administration of ousted civilian leader and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

Byu Har was detained for “inciting with the intent to disrupt the peace and stability of the nation and spreading propaganda,” according to a statement released by the military’s information team on Sunday.

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It did not specify whether he was charged or where he was being detained.

Byu Har is the son of renowned composer Naing Myanmar, whose song “Kabar Ma Kyay Buu” was widely chanted at protests against the military rebellion in February 2021.

Byu Har frequently uploads videos in which he is shirtless and strumming the instrument.

During the sweltering summer months, power disruptions are prevalent in Myanmar due to a creaky and antiquated electricity infrastructure, with demand consistently exceeding supply.

The junta has attributed the worsening blackouts to increasing gas prices and anti-coup forces’ attacks on infrastructure.

The disruptions have exacerbated the economic distress brought on by the military rebellion.

According to a local monitoring group, the junta has detained tens of thousands in its assault on dissent since seizing power, including dozens of artists and personalities.

Last year, two prominent models were arrested for “harming culture and dignity” after posting videos to the intimate video-sharing platform OnlyFans.

The coup provoked renewed confrontations between the military and ethnic rebel groups and spawned dozens of “People’s Defence Forces” that are now engaged in combat across Myanmar.

Violence has displaced more than one million people, according to the United Nations.

In December, the junta sentenced Suu Kyi to 33 years in prison following a closed-door trial that rights groups criticized as a farce.

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