A Burmese OnlyFans model has been jailed for six years for posting nude content on the adult subscription service.
Nang Mwe San, a model and former doctor, was convicted by a military court on Tuesday for "harming culture and dignity" by distributing "sexually explicit" photos and videos online for a fee, under Section 33 (A) of Myanmar's Electronics Transactions Law.
San Jailed for Tarnishing Burmese Culture in 'Politically Motivated' Arrest
The ruling has been widely decried as politically motivated. The 34-year-old, who has previously participated in protests against the military junta, is believed to be the first person in the countryâand potentially the first in the worldâto ever be jailed for OnlyFans content.
Police arrested San on Aug. 5 for allegedly tarnishing Burmese culture by "distributing suggestive photos and videos on a foreign website for a fee."
That evening, junta-controlled media announced that the military council had brought charges against both her and Burmese film actress Thinzar Wint Kyaw, who has similarly attended protests against the junta and published sexually provocative photos and videos on social media and Exantria, a creators platform similar to OnlyFans.
Nang Mwe San, who was living in a part of Myanmar under martial law when she was arrested, was denied a lawyer and subject to a closed trial in a military court. She is the first person to ever be prosecuted under Myanmar's Electronic Communications Act, in a move that has drawn condemnation from legal experts and human rights activists.
Backlash from Legal Experts, Human Rights Activists
Aung Kyaw Moe, a human rights adviser to Myanmar's National Unity Governmentâa shadow government of ousted civilian lawmakers formed in the wake of the military coup in February 2021âtold VICE World News that her sentencing is a "gross human rights and women rights violation" which is "targeted and intentional."
"[She] was the first celebrity to raise their voice and ask the world for justice for the Rohingya just after the coup," he said. "[If] a model like Nang Mwe San is not free to exercise her rights to sell sexy photos, no other woman is free to exercise their rights. The international community must do more to hold the junta to account and protect women and girls in Myanmar."
Speaking to Radio Free Asia (RFA), a veteran lawyer, who did not want to be named for security reasons, called the ruling "unjust," claiming that the the Electronic Communications Act is too vague in its definition of what content can be considered "harmful" to the country's culture and suggesting that the charges may just be a front for an ulterior agenda.
"This legal action is just an excuse and I'm sure there are other undisclosed reasons behind it," he said.
Following the coup d'Ã©tat of Feb. 1, 2021, when the Myanmar military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's democratically elected government and seized total control of the country, Nang Mwe San took to the streets in protest with thousands of other Burmese citizens. In March 2021, after she posted comments to social media denouncing the junta's harsh crackdown on protestors, Nang Mwe San was threatened with arrest for defamation against the state, and went into hiding.
San Gave Up Medical Career for OnlyFans
Nang Mwe San has uploaded a total of 347 images and 74 videos to the OnlyFans platform, and in December 2020 told VICE World News that she had earned more than $20,000 after just three months.
"Women in this country shouldn't feel bad about what they are doing," she said at the time. "Anything you are doing can also be a promotion for the country, then other people will notice your country."