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NLD youth leader charged for slandering official on Facebook

Nyein Chan is led into Letpadan township court on 15 December 2016. (PHOTO: DVB)

Nyein Chan, the youth coordinator for the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Letpadan Township, Pegu Division, was charged yesterday with “online defamation” under Burma’s Telecommunications Law.

The NLD youth leader stands accused of slandering a municipal official in a Facebook post in July this year. The official subsequently lodged a complaint with police under Article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law.

Nyein Chan, who has been an NLD member since 2008, was arraigned at Letpadan township court on 15 December, and subsequently held in custody on remand.

The NLD Letpadan’s joint-secretary Zaw Moe said the party’s Central Youth Working Committee will inform the party leadership about Nyein Chan’s case. His next hearing has been scheduled for 22 December.

Critics have blasted Article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Act as draconian. Last year, a member of the then ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party was charged with defamation under Article 66(d) for posting an offensive image of Suu Kyi on Facebook.

Earlier this year, a man was charged under the same law for insulting Burma’s military chief and the country’s former president on Facebook.