Tatmadaw admits to detaining military medical student who criticised former dictators on Facebook

The Tatmadaw has admitted it is detaining a military medical student who went missing over three months ago after criticising the military on Facebook.  

Khaing Khant Kyaw, a second-year student at the Defence Services Medical Academy, will be charged under the Defence Services Act, military spokesperson Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun said at a press conference.

“We’re still planning to take action against the student through the military courts,” he said. 

“He’ll be allowed to meet his family after the court martial. Everything will go according to procedure. The family shouldn’t be concerned about not being able to see him,” he added.

Khaing Khant Kyaw’s family have had no contact with him since he went missing in late August and this is the first time they have received confirmation he is being held by the military. 

His father told Myanmar Now he did not wish to comment. 

Khaing Khant Kyaw shared a Facebook post in August criticising former dictators Ne Win and Than Shwe and praising State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.

He also posted photos from the 2003 Depayin massacre and wrote: “Who was it that said ‘guns aren’t supposed to be aimed at the sky’ and shot students who had no weapons whatsoever?”

“I didn’t enlist because I love the military,” he said in another post. 

Kyaw Swar Win, a former major who was jailed in 2014 for supporting a petition to amend the military-drafted constitution, speculated that the student could be charged with breach of discipline under section 65 of the Defence Services Act. 

The section carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

The military could also charge him under section 66d of the Telecommunications Law, he said. 

“Section 65 is what they would use against you just out of spite. And then there is 66d of the telecoms law since the criticisms were online. I’m sure they could be nitpicky and add more charges,” he told Myanmar Now. 

“There’s so many limitations to your rights when it comes to the military,” he added. “Soldiers lose out on a lot of rights, there’s no rule of law.” 

Related Articles

Back to top button