Junta court sentences deposed lawmaker who denounced resistance to 20 years

Ousted regional legislator Thet Paing Soe defected to the side of the military in a recorded public ceremony in 2022, only to be arrested and charged with terrorism within less than a year

“They treat me very warmly, like a brother. And I’m very grateful for that.” 

These were the words Thet Paing Soe—an ousted regional elected official—used to refer to the Myanmar military in 2022 at a public ceremony held to recognise the “surrender” of resistance members. 

In addition to representing Ngapudaw Township in the Ayeyarwady regional parliament, Thet Paing Soe had been an officer of the Ngapudaw People’s Defence Forces—an armed anti-junta resistance group—before defecting to the side of the military.

“I don’t want any more bloodshed,” he continued. “I don’t want to spread hate anymore.” 

Despite this renunciation of support for the anti-coup resistance, military authorities sentenced Thet Paing Soe to 22 years in prison in late December of 2023. 

Thet Paing Soe went into hiding when the coup regime issued an arrest warrant for him. . .

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