Myanmar ex-information minister jailed for incitement, sedition


YANGON: Myanmar's former information minister was jailed on Wednesday (Nov 29) for sedition and incitement against the military, a security source told AFP, weeks after he was arrested for spreading "wrong information" on social media.

Ye Htut was handed a 10-year sentence under two laws criminalising incitement against the military and sedition following a trial in Yangon's Insein prison, a security source told AFP.

The source, who asked not to be named as they were not authorised to talk to the media, did not give further details.

Ye Htut had been arrested in October days after pro-junta Telegram channels accused him of exposing the address of a retired military officer.

He was information minister and presidential spokesperson under the military government of Thein Sein, which ceded power to Aung San Suu Kyi following 2015's landmark elections.

Thein Sein's administration permitted some economic and social liberalisation -- including granting Suu Kyi's opposition party access to mainstream politics -- but was also in power during waves of deadly religious violence.

Ye Htut earned the moniker "the Facebook Minister" at the time for his frequent posting on the social media network, which was among the country's most popular.

Following his retirement he remained active on the platform, sharing details about his travels.

He last posted on Oct 27 during a trip to Inle Lake, a popular spot for tourists.

In recent months the military, who have faced armed resistance since seizing power in a 2021 coup, have detained a number of trade and commerce officials as the conflict batters Myanmar's already struggling economy.

Last month two allies of junta chief Min Aung Hlaing were jailed for 20 years each for corruption and abuse of power. - AFP

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