Paing Takhon: Myanmar jails 24-year-old actor for speaking against military coup

One of Myanmar’s most popular celebrities has been arrested by the military as part of a growing crackdown.

Paing Takhon, a model and actor with millions of fans in Myanmar and Thailand, had been active in both online protests and in-person rallies. Takhon’s Instagram been taken down along with his Facebook account.

The military seized power in a coup on 1 February, sparking weeks of protests. Around 600 civilians have been killed as forces respond to the demonstrations with increasing levels of violence.

According to a Facebook post by Takhon’s sister Thi Thi Lwin, around 50 soldiers with eight military trucks came to arrest him at around 05:00 local time on Thursday.

A close acquaintance of his said he was taken from his mother’s home in North Dagon, a township in Yangon.

What did he say?

The 24-year-old had previously been seen participating in several demonstrations and marches.

He had also posted images of ousted civilian leader and pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

“We strongly condemn military coup. We demand immediate release of state counsellor [sic] Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, civilian government ministers and elected members of parliament [sic],” Mr Takhon is said to have written in an online post which has also been taken down.

“We demand to respect 2020 election results and form new civilian [sic] government soonest by NLD led parliament [sic].”