In the latest crackdown on dissent, a well-known rapper in Myanmar has been arrested by the military regime for criticizing the junta’s handling of massive power blackouts. Byu Har, who has a substantial following on social media, expressed his discontent with the junta in a Facebook video, highlighting that the power supply was better managed during the previous civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

The military’s information team issued a statement on Sunday, accusing Byu Har of “inciting with the aim of disrupting the peace and stability of the nation, and the act of spreading propaganda.” However, specific details about any charges or his current location were not provided.

Byu Har, the son of renowned composer Naing Myanmar, has gained popularity for his music and frequently shares videos of himself playing the guitar. His father’s song, “Kabar Ma Kyay Buu,” has become an anthem during protests against the military coup that took place in February 2021.

Power outages are a common occurrence in Myanmar due to an outdated electricity grid and high demand, particularly during the hot summer months. The junta has attributed the worsening outages to increased gas prices and attacks on infrastructure by anti-coup fighters. These blackouts have exacerbated the economic hardships faced by the country since the coup.

Since seizing power, the military regime has arrested tens of thousands of individuals, including numerous artists and celebrities, as part of their crackdown on dissent. Last year, two prominent models were detained for “harming culture and dignity” after sharing content on the online platform OnlyFans.

The military coup reignited conflicts between the military and ethnic rebel groups, leading to the emergence of several “People’s Defence Forces” operating throughout Myanmar. As a result of the violence, more than one million people have been displaced, according to the United Nations.

Aung San Suu Kyi, a prominent democracy figurehead, was sentenced to 33 years in prison by the junta in December following a trial widely condemned by human rights organizations as unfair.

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