A list of public figures facing arrest for supporting the growing movement to end military rule in Myanmar appeared on social media on Monday, the first day of a nationwide general strike.
The list, which was dated February 21 and labeled “secret”, includes 78 well-known activists, artists, writers, journalists and celebrities who have openly called for continuing resistance to the junta that seized power on February 1.
It includes 88 Generation student leaders Min Ko Naing and Jimmy, as well as other prominent activists, such as Moe Thee Zun.
Also named are Dr. Zaw Wai Soe, the rector of Yangon Medical University (1), who has been a leading figure in the anti-coup civil disobedience movement, columnist J Hla Thin, writer Moe Ni Lwin, and Myanmar Now editor-in chief Swe Win.
Some on the list, including actors Lu Min and Pay Ti Oo, filmmakers Ko Pauk and Na Gyi, and hip-hop singer Annaga, have already had warrants issued for their arrest for incitement under section 505a of the Penal Code.
According to his wife, Lu Min was arrested at his home on Saturday night.
All of the individuals on the leaked list, which also includes 39 other singers and actors, are facing charges under section 505b of the Penal Code, which criminalizes speech that “is likely to cause fear or alarm in the public.”
“Isn’t it shameful for those who commit insurgency under the 2008 constitution to file a case against a writer who writes articles in newspapers and journals for the benefit of her country and people?” said columnist J Hla Thin.
In addition to names, the list also includes links to the Facebook pages of those accused by the regime of making false or inflammatory comments.
Social media was uncommonly quiet on Monday due to an internet blackout that lasted until midday. The move appeared to be aimed at blocking the so-called “five twos” general strike, which takes its name from its starting date, 22.2.2021.
On Sunday night, the ruling junta issued an ominous warning to those who “raised their incitement towards riot and anarchy … on the day of 22 February.”
“Protesters are now inciting the people, especially emotional teenagers and youths, to a confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life,” it said on state broadcaster MRTV a day after security forces killed two protesters in Mandalay.