6 June 2024

After nearly eight months held on remand, the BBC Burmese service reported on Monday that actor Paing Takhon has been sentenced to three years in a labour camp for participating in the anti-coup demonstration in Myanmar.

A lawyer representing the actor, who is famous both in his home country and in neighbouring Thailand, said the court procedure, which led to the penalty, was unprecedented.

The court had been scheduled to hear a witness testimony, but the witness failed to appear blaming ill health.

Instead of rescheduling the hearing, the court showed photos of the protest and asked Paing Takhon if joining the protest was “appropriate”. When the actor said it was, the court ruled it as a confession and handed down the prison sentence.

Paing Takhon’s lawyer, who reportedly was not allowed to address the court Monday, said that several steps in normal the justice procedure had been skipped, such as examination of evidence from both sides and delivery of the lawyer’s statements, etc.

By December 4th, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 7,750 people had been detained, charged, and/or sentenced in Myanmar since the Military seized power on February 1st.