Myanmar/Burma: Hip-hop artist released from prison



Myanmar / Burma:
Hip-hop artist released from prison

On 6 January 2009, the Burmese military junta authorities released popular hip-hop singer Yan Yan Chan, who was arrested in April 2008, reported Mizzima News.

The popular singer was released on Tuesday evening by the western district
court in the notorious Insein prison in Rangoon after the judge during the
court session ordered his release, a lawyer close to the singer’s family

“The judge ordered his release and so he was freed yesterday evening,” the
lawyer said. The lawyer, however, said he is not aware of the charges against the
singer and the reasons for his release.

“As far as I understand, he [Yan Yan Chan] was charged in a drug related
crime but I am not sure what the charges exactly were. I have not been
able to speak to him yet,” the lawyer, who requested anonymity, told

When contacted, Yan Yan Chan’s family members confirmed his released but
refused to elaborate.

Popular hip-hop band

Yan Yan Chan co-founded the first Burmese hip-hop band the
‘Acid’. He was arrested in early April 2008, while staying at his
friend’s residence in Monywa town in upper Burma.

His band-colleague, the musician Zayar Thaw, is still in prison, serving a six years sentence.

Yan Yan Chan

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Myanmar / Burma


Video clip on YouTube

Yan Yan Chan: ‘Lite Kye’


Google News – continously updated:

Search: ‘Yan Yan Chan’

The Irrawaddy – 18 April 2008:

‘Popular Burmese Rap Performer Arrested’

The First Post – 18 April 2008:

‘Junta imprisons Yan Yan Chan’

The Irrawaddy – 28 November 2007:

”Popular Musician and Friends Arrested in Rangoon’

Ashin Mettacara’s blog – 18 April 2008:

‘Free Yan Yan Chan’

In-depth report on music censorship in Burma

The book ‘Shoot the Singer’ which was published in 2004 contains a chapter about music censorship Burma, Chapter 6: ‘Music under siege’.

Freemuse offers you to read the full chapter by Aung Zaw – 23 pages in pdf-format.

Read the chapter

How censorship is carried out in Burma

Excerpt from ‘Risky jokes about Burma’s dictators’ – by Don North

“In Burma, or Myanmar as the generals insist it be called, the government has created artist associations for writers, journalists and any form of entertainer, even athletes. In order to create anything new, permission must be obtained from the government. But before getting approval, the artist’s association memberships are reviewed.
Since 1962, the government’s permission must be obtained to hire a Pwe troupe (troupe of political satirists, musicians, puppeteers and dancers) for holidays, birthdays, weddings and funerals. To gain permission a troupe must pay a fee, and submit a list of all performers.

Permission also must be obtained from the police. Military intelligence must approve the content, too.
With such draconian regulations and a consensus of all parties required, permission is reported to be rarely granted. The art, history and culture of Burma have suffered under the blacklist of the Pwe. The unfettered mind is under siege in what is one of the world’s most oppressed nations.”

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