Myanmar junta charges Actors with Boosting protests

Myanmar’s ruling junta has stepped up its campaign against actors who encourage nationwide protests against its February seizure of power, publishing illustrated wanted lists from the country press and caution against using their job

YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar’s ruling junta stepped up its effort against actors who support nationwide protests against its seizure of power, publishing wanted lists from the country media and warning against using their work.

The move follows weeks of escalating violence by security forces in breaking up street protests against the Feb. 1 coup that ousted the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi. At least 570 protesters and bystanders, including 47 children, have been killed since the takeover, as stated by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which monitors casualties and arrests. The coup reversed the nation’s slow return to Christianity after five decades of military rule.

The penalty for the offense is up to three years’ imprisonment.

A chart filling most of a webpage lists 20 people, along with photos, hometowns and Facebook pages of each.

Several actors and directors were also charged in February, however, the effort against celebrity protest fans was awakened last week when army-controlled Myawaddy TV broadcast a desired list. There are currently at least 60 individuals on these lists.

May Toe Khine, who describes herself in her Twitter profile as”Total Time Burmese Actress / Part Time Fashion Designer Student,” tweeted after the TV statement that her arrest warrant was”for simply doing my job as a civilian: using my platform to speak out the truth.”

“Please always look closely at news in Myanmar before we win,” she wrote.

What appears to be a leaked document from the Information Ministry advises broadcasters and production agencies of these cases against men and women in the fields of literature, film, theater arts, music and journalism. It warns them to not publish or broadcast any of the job or face prosecution .

The April 4 document, which could not be authenticated by The Associated Press, was reported by Khit Thit Media and widely circulated on social networking.

Protests continued Monday across the country, but generally on a lesser scale than recently and often in ways meant to prevent confrontations. On Sunday, an”Easter Egg Strike” was held with all eggs painted in support of the protests displayed in public areas and online.

Back in Dawei, a city in southeastern Myanmar which is a stronghold of the protest movement, a short march was accompanied by a bike procession.

In Yangon, the nation’s biggest town, a memorial march for the deceased was held by mourners clad in dark. Separately, about 20 people gathered temporarily on a city street and burnt Chinese flags. Many protesters believe that Beijing backs the military regime with political and economic support, including the threat of a veto in the U.N. Security Council against international sanctions.

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