US con­cern voiced over ‘Face­book ar­rests’

Mizzima Business Weekly - - AFFAIRS // NEWS -

US State Depart­ment spokesman John Kirby has ex­pressed con­cern over the ar­rest of two Myan­mar na­tion­als over sep­a­rate in­ci­dents in­volv­ing the post­ing of ma­te­rial on Face­book that the author­i­ties have taken ex­cep­tion to.

Speak­ing dur­ing the Oc­to­ber 15 Daily Press Brief­ing in Wash­ing­ton DC, Mr Kirby ex­pressed con­cern over the ar­rest and charg­ing of Pa­trick Khum Jaa Lee, the spouse of In­ter­na­tional Women of Courage Award re­cip­i­ent May Sabe Phyu un­der the 2013 telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions law, re­port­edly in re­sponse to a Face­book post.

Peace ac­tivist Pa­trick Kum Jaa Lee was ar­rested on Wed­nes­day in Yan­gon for a Face­book post show­ing some­one step­ping on a photo of Com­man­der-in-Chief Se­nior Gen­eral Min Aung Hlaing.

Mr Kirby also ex­press con­cern about charges filed against Chaw Sandi Tun un­der the elec­tronic trans­ac­tions law, also re­port­edly in re­sponse to a Face­book post.

Chaw Sandi Tun was ar­rested for a Face­book post point­ing out that op­po­si­tion leader Aung San Suu Kyi was wear­ing clothes of a color sim­i­lar to those of the army, and in par­tic­u­lar Gen­eral Min Aung Hlaing.

The US spoke­man said such laws re­strict free­dom of ex­pres­sion and di­rectly con­tra­dict demo­cratic prin­ci­ples and the gov­ern­ment’s own stated com­mit­ment to po­lit­i­cal re­form and re­spect of hu­man rights.

He called on the Myan­mar author­i­ties to im­me­di­ately re­lease the two in­di­vid­u­als.

US State Depart­ment spokesman John Kirby. Photo: US gov­ern­ment

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