Myan­mar court jails satir­i­cal per­form­ers

The National - News - - WORLD NEWS -

A court in Myan­mar yes­ter­day sen­tenced five satir­i­cal per­form­ers to a year in jail with hard labour for shows that crit­i­cised the army’s role in pol­i­tics. The five were ar­rested af­ter tak­ing part in Thangyat, a cen­turies-old tra­di­tion dur­ing Myan­mar’s new year wa­ter fes­ti­val in April. The tra­di­tion pokes fun at the flaws and foibles of the so­cial and po­lit­i­cal sys­tem. It fea­tures a mix of com­edy and slam po­etry set to drums. Dur­ing shows and a Face­book broad­cast, the five crit­i­cised the army’s share of a quar­ter of the seats in par­lia­ment and shared pic­tures of a dog in a mil­i­tary jacket. They de­nied any wrong­do­ing in a case con­demned by hu­man rights groups as a neg­a­tive step in Myan­mar’s fal­ter­ing tran­si­tion to democ­racy.

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