Myanmar/Burma: Hip-hop performer sentenced to six years in prison



Burma / Myanmar:

27-year-old performer sentenced to six years in prison

One of the most popular performers on Burma’s music scene, hip-hop star Zayar Thaw, was sentenced to six years imprisonment by a Rangoon court on 20 November 2008 for his involvement in anti-regime protests, reported The Irrawaddy.

Zayar Thaw (also known as Kyaw Kyaw) was among at least 20 detainees sentenced on 18 November 2008 in Burma’s continuing trials of opposition activists and members of the National League for Democracy.

Zayar Thaw joined three other musicians in founding Burma’s first hip-hop band, ACID, in late 2000. The band rapidly won a big following among young Burmese music-lovers. Zayar Thaw was arrested in March 2008 for his involvement in political activities.

Aung Gyi, a lawyer representing Zayar Thaw and five members of Generation Wave, told The Irrawaddy that a court in Rangoon’s Lamandaw Township convicted Zayar Thaw of contravening the criminal code’s section 24.1 relating to dealings in foreign currency and section 6.88, covering membership of an illegal organisation.

The condemned are being transferred from holding cells in Rangoon to remote prisons scattered across Burma to make contact with families and friends difficult.

Two legal organisations — the Thailand-based Burmese Lawyers Council and the Global Justice Center in New York — are investigating the possibility of arraigning the Rangoon judges before the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

Click to read more about Zayar Thaw
Zayar Thaw
Photo: The Irrawaddy

Click to read more about music censorship in Burma
Myanmar / Burma


The Irrawaddy – 20 November 2008:

‘Hip-Hop Performer among Latest Victims of Court Crackdown’

Google News – continously updated:

Search: ‘Zayar Thaw’

UPI – 13 November 2008:

‘Frantic week behind Burma’s court doors’

The Irrawaddy – 11 November 2008:

’40 Burmese Dissidents Given Prison Terms of up to 65 Years’


Myanmar / Burma:

Music under siege

By Aung Zaw

Music has provided a rallying point for the masses during political upheavals in Burma, just as it has elsewhere in South-East Asia. It has served as a potent response to the rapid political and social displacements brought on by neocolonialism, industrialization and dictatorship.

The book ‘Shoot the Singer!’ from 2004 contains a chapter about music censorship in Burma which is still relevant today.

Read more…

Click to read a chapter about Burma in the book 'Shoot the Singer!'

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