A Burmese actor and model was recently arrested by Myanmar military forces as part of a crackdown on celebrities that support their opposition.
Paing Takhon, 24, went viral last January after photos of him dressed up as a hot “monk” were posted on social media.
Takhon had more than a million Instagram followers last month, with many of his fans from Myanmar and Thailand. His social media accounts, however, have recently been taken down following his recent arrest.
Myanmar junta forces arrested a famous young model #PaingTakhon at his home in Yangon’s North Dagon on Apr. 8, said his sister. Denouncing the military coup, he took part in protests since February. The junta sued him under article 505a of the Penal Code.#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/zKPj5a3slm
— The Irrawaddy (Eng) (@IrrawaddyNews) April 8, 2021
After the Myanmar coup on Feb. 1, the military started targeting public figures who have criticized the recent regime change, according to The Guardian.
Takhon participated in both online and in-person protests. Due to his anti-coup remarks, he was detained last week, BBC reported.
Paing Takhon, a famous celebrity in Myanmar, Thailand and China, was arrested at 5:00 am today in Yangon, while he is in his serious health condition. So far, junta has issued warrants over 100 celebrities for their anti-coup activities#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #Apr8Coup pic.twitter.com/cp6enXSOhI
— Athens Zaw Zaw (@zaw_athens) April 8, 2021
Before being detained, Takhon was allegedly in a bad physical state and unable to “stand or walk properly” for undisclosed reasons. He was also said to be suffering from “serious depression,” an acquaintance of his told BBC.
He was reportedly at his mother’s home in the township of Yangon on Thursday. Around 50 soldiers arrived at around 5 a.m. to take him away despite his weak condition. Though he was said to be “aware of the consequences” of his actions, he was “not scared at all.”
Takhon is facing charges under section 505(a) of Myanmar’s penal code, according to Reuters. This section addresses any person who “makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumor or report” that could potentially lead a member of the military to mutiny.
According to The Guardian, Myanmar’s military is currently looking for over 100 people, and many of them are in hiding. These people range from actors and social media influencers to politicians.
The Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP) in Burma, a nonprofit human rights organization, has claimed that as of April 5, 2,728 people are currently in detention, 38 were sentenced, and 570 people were killed. Many of them are held in undisclosed locations.
Takhon’s current whereabouts are unknown.
Feature Image via Paing Takhon