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‘Violent’ actress charged with intimidation

Rangoon (Mizzima) – Actress Htet Htet Moe Oo has been charged by the Yankin Township court today under two sections of the Penal Code, including criminal intimidation for slapping and attempting to strangle a reporter during an interview. 

Judge Nay Aung framed and explained the charges under sections 323 and 506 of the Penal Code today.

“The judge said she was charged under sections 323 and 506 of the Penal Code,” a  prosecutor said in Yankin Court. “The first was ‘causing hurt’ in trying to strangulate, which left marks from her nails on the reporter’s neck and the other charge was ‘criminal intimidation’ of the reporter [as the attack took place] in a crowd.” 

The complainant Aye Thu San was present in the court today. 

Section 323 is punishable with imprisonment, which may be extended to one year or a fine of 1,000 Kyats or both. Section 506 is punishable with imprisonment, which may be extended to two years, without the provision of a fine. 

“The cases under these sections are punishable with imprisonment but this case is profound and delicate,” an advocate from the Rangoon Division Court said. “So we cannot comment on the outcome of the trial.”

The actress flew into a rage and assaulted reporter Aye Thu San of the 7 Days News Journal during an interview at a Johnson’s [Johnson and Johnson] baby product promotion in the Sedona Hotel, Rangoon, on May 19. The actress was apparently angered at the reporter’s questions, which had probed her personal life. 

The reporter lodged a complaint in Yankin Township court on May 20. 

In an indication of the junta’s stranglehold on the media, the press censorship board, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, banned publication of The Voice and The First Music News for an indefinite period by order of the Information Minister Kyaw San for reporting the incident. 

The Burma Motion Picture Association and Burma Literary and Journalists Association jointly tried to mediate between the reporter and the actress by trying to persuade the latter to apologise formally to the reporter in a bid for her to withdraw the case she had filed. But Htet Htet Moe Oo rejected the proposal. 

The literary group issued a statement on Monday, in which it condemned the actress for rejecting the mediation effort, and for her rude behaviour. It said her refusal to forgive a fellow artist contradicted the teachings of Buddha to forgive and forget based on empathy, friendship and understanding. 

The association then met Aye Thu San on Tuesday and urged her to follow media ethics regarding conduct during interviews to avoid actions that might adversely affect amity in the mass-media circles of literature, film, theatre and music. 

“We intervened to avoid further suffering to the actress. In fact, the reporter did her job and was not rude and was not in the wrong,” an association member said on condition of anonymity. 

The court has fixed June 17 for the next hearing in the case of Aye Thu San versus Htet Htet Moe Oo.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 June 2010 23:43 )  

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