A Myanmar court has jailed a woman for six months for a Facebook post “ridiculing” the country’s army chief and the colour of a new uniform.
Chaw Sandi Tun, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s election-winning National League for Democracy (NLD) party, was found guilty under a new telecommunications law prohibiting the use of the telecoms network to “extort, threaten, obstruct, defame, disturb, inappropriately influence or intimidate”.
“My daughter was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment at Ma U Bin township court this morning under Section 66(d) of the telecoms law. We will appeal as we are not satisfied,” her mother Ei San told the AFP news agency.
Chaw Sandi Tun’s post compared the light green new uniform for army officers with that of a “longyi”, a traditional Myanmar skirt worn by opposition icon Suu Kyi.
“If you love mother that much, why don’t you wrap mother’s longyi on your head?” the post said.
The maximum penalty she faced was three years in jail. Her lawyer confirmed the sentence but said his client denied making the post.
“She said her Facebook account had been hacked several times and that she didn’t post that post,” Robert San Aung told reporters.
Social media arrests
Chaw Sandi Tun was arrested in October. The same month, Patrick Kum Jaa Lee, an NGO worker, was also arrested for a Facebook post that mocked the army.
Myanmar has been ruled by a quasi-civilian government since 2011 following five decades of military rule and has been widely praised for ushering in a series of economic and political reforms.
But in recent months critics have accused the military and government of returning to junta-era tactics, with arrests over social media posts.
A violent police crackdown on a student protest earlier this year left scores wounded.