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Myanmar rapper who complained about power shortages sentenced to 20 years

Byu Har, the son of a prominent musician, also called the junta’s leader an ‘incompetent fool’ in a Facebook video.

Myanmar’s junta has sentenced a hip-hop singer to 20 years in prison for a video published on social media in which he complained about electricity shortages and criticized the junta’s leadership.

Prison authorities informed the family of Byu Har that the Insein Prison Court on Wednesday sentenced him to 20 years in prison under section 124 of the Penal Code for incitement to destroy the state, his wife told Radio Free Asia.

Byu Har, the son of prominent musician Naing Myanmar, posted a video on Facebook earlier this year where he called out the “minister of electricity” and called the holder of the office “a fool.” He was arrested on May 23

The ministry’s proper name is the Ministry of Electric Power and the minister of electric power is Thaung Han. 

The country has experienced power shortages, and residents told RFA’s Burmese Service earlier this year that many areas of Yangon – including where Byu Har lived – received power for only five hours in the morning and another five hours in the afternoon and evening. 

Some areas of the city, such as the area where retired military officers live, were supplied with full power, though.

“You can’t supply enough electricity to us,” Byu Har said in the video. “You can barely supply us every five hours. Even that is not certain.”

He also criticized the junta’s leader, Sen. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, calling him “a stupid incompetent fool.”

“I am cursing at you because I don’t have the electricity,” he said in the video. “Got it? If you want to arrest me, just come.”

Before he was arrested, Byu Har lived with his 31-year-old wife, 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son in North Dagon township in eastern Yangon.

Translated by Htin Aung Kyaw. Edited by Matt Reed and Malcolm Foster.


This content originally appeared on Radio Free Asia and was authored by Reported by Kyaw Lwin Oo, RFA Burmese.


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