(James Goyder is the owner/editor of AsianMMA.com)
ONE Championship featherweight Phoe Thaw has been injured in a bomb blast and arrested by the military junta in Myanmar. The 36 year old suffered serious looking burns to his legs and was taken into custody by soldiers while receiving treatment in hospital.
Myanmar is currently under the iron grip of a military junta which seized control from the democratically elected government earlier this year. Protests have been taking place on a daily basis and soldiers have responded with lethal force.
According to the military Thaw was injured when a homemade bomb he had manufactured exploded at his gym in Yangon on Wednesday night. However Reuters disputed this version of events citing a source who told them that ‘the home-made bomb had been left at the gym car park by a policeman posing as a civilian’.
Thaw holds a record of 8-2 and all ten of his fights have taken place under the ONE Championship banner. He made his debut for the promotion in 2015 and won his first six fights.
His younger brother, Kaung Si Thu, is a professional footballer who has played for the Myanmar national team. According to reports he was also arrested by the military on Friday morning.
Thaw has reportedly been charged under Section 505(a) of the Penal Code makes it a crime to publish or circulate any ‘statement, rumour or report’, ‘with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, any officer, soldier, sailor or airman, in the Army, Navy or Air Force to mutiny or otherwise disregard or fail in his duty as such’.
According to Amnesty the law is often been used to prosecute people criticizing the military. In recent months umerous protesters have been tortured and even killed after being detained by the junta.