Paing Takhon, one of Myanmar’s most popular celebrities, has been detained by the military as part of a crackdown by the Myanmar military on celebrities who have spoken out against the coup.
The 24-year-old actor and model, who had more than one million followers on his Instagram account, was arrested at his mother’s home in the North Dagon area on Thursday Apr. 8 by about 50 soldiers in eight military trucks at 05:00 local time, according to the BBC.
He had attended several anti-coup demonstrations since February and posted openly against the coup on his social media accounts, which have all been taken down. It is unclear who has removed his accounts.
“We strongly condemn the military coup. We demand immediate release of state counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, civilian government ministers and elected members of parliament,” Paing Takhon wrote in one post, according to the BBC.
His sister, Thi Thi Lwin, wrote on Facebook that as her brother was “seriously ill,” he was taken calmly without violence. “We do not know where he’s taken,” she added.
Paing Takhon is just one of the numerous celebrities who have been arrested as part of a military crackdown on celebrities who have criticized the coup.
Along with about 100 filmmakers, actors, celebrities and journalists – several of whom have gone into hiding – he has been charged with calling for participation in the Civil Disobedience Movement, damaging the state’s ability to govern and generally inciting people to disturb the peace and stability of the nation, which can result in up to three years in prison, according to the Guardian.
Protesters have been taking to the streets across Myanmar since February, when the country’s military seized power in a coup and imposed a year-long state of emergency after accusing of the country’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League of Democracy (NLD) party of fraud in the election in November.