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Fake Facebook case: Yar Pyae walks free

Yar Pyae, pictured after his release from prison on 18 November 2016. (PHOTO: Aung Aung Kyaw/ DVB)

Political activist Yar Pyae, who was yesterday sentenced to six months under the Telecommunications Act over a Facebook post, was this morning released from prison with the sentenced commuted for time served.

Yar Pyae (also known as Myo Win Thu) was detained on 22 May after a member of the nationalist Peace and Diversity Party (PDP) sued him for slandering Burma’s military chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing on social media.

PDP stalwart Thiri Nay Lin said she discovered the defamatory remarks on Yar Pyae’s Facebook page when she checked his post history. She says she was inspired to do so after he applauded online the arrest of PDP leader Nay Myo Wai under the same Article 66(d), known as the Telecommunications Act.

Known as an extremely outspoken nationalist, Nay Myo Wai had earlier posted rude comments online about Burmese President Htin Kyaw and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as disparaging remarks about Min Aung Hlaing.

Since being detained, Yar Pyae has denied the charge and claimed that someone had created a fake Facebook profile under his name. However he was denied bail throughout the trial proceedings over the past six months.

“I was sentenced to six months’ in prison, commuted for time spent in custody. So, in effect, I walked free,” Yar Pyae told DVB following his release this morning.

He said the verdict was “unfair”, and maintained that the Facebook account was fabricated and used against him.

“It was a conspiracy against me, using a fake account under my name,” he said.

Yar Pyae called on the Burmese government to review and amend the Telecommunications law.

 

Read more about Burma’s controversial Telecommunications Act (Article 66(d)):

Eleven Media chiefs sued for defamation

Man gets prison for Facebook insults