A Myanmar filmmaker was sentenced to a year in prison yesterday for criticising the military, as free expression advocates warned of “grave threats” to those who challenge the powerful armed forces.
Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, an activist and founder of human rights film festivals, was detained in April following a Facebook post in which he slammed the 2008 military-drafted constitution.
The charter is deeply unpopular in Myanmar as it gifts the armed services three-quarters of parliamentary seats and control of three ministries despite an ostensible transition to civilian rule.
He was sentenced under a law that criminalises incitement by publishing statements causing “fear or alarm” to the public.
“I wasn’t surprised because I expected what was coming,” Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi told reporters as he was led from the Insein courthouse in Yangon.
The ruling will take into account time served since his arrest.
The free expression group Article 19 said the case was further evidence of the “grave threats faced by those who criticise the Myanmar military”.