A Burmese model who fled to Thailand after speaking out against a military coup in her homeland was prevented from returning to Bangkok, Thai authorities said Thursday, about what her manager said was a Interpol notice.
Han Lay, who captured international attention last year with a moving speech at a beauty pageant calling for urgent help for the people of Myanmar during the military crackdown, did not have a valid visa to enter Thailand, the department said. immigration.
The 23-year-old was not detained and arrangements were made to have her board a flight from Thailand, the department said in a statement.
Naut Itsaragrisil, founder of Thailand’s Miss Grand International contest, which also represents Han Lay, said she had been in the transit area of a Bangkok airport since Wednesday afternoon.
He said Han Lay was stopped on arrival because she was the subject of an Interpol notice.
“He doesn’t want to go anywhere else. He wants to live in Thailand, “she told Reuters.” He’s waiting for a solution on how he can stay in Thailand. ”
Myanmar has been in crisis since a coup in February last year sparked protests that the military has cracked down with lethal force and thousands of arrests.
Since taking power, the junta led by Min Aung Hlaing has embarked on a bloody crackdown on any opposition to his government.
The junta’s crackdown has included multiple targets, from pro-democracy and youth groups, to activists, politicians, and even celebrities and social media influencers.
The military has been accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes by the United States, the United Nations and other international bodies as it attempts to assert control over the people, who continue to wage a campaign of mass resistance.
A spokesman for the ruling military council of Myanmar could not be reached for comment. Interpol did not immediately respond to a request for comment that Han Lay was the subject of an Interpol notice.
Han Lay was a Miss Grand International contestant when videos went viral on social media of her fight against tears on stage when she talked about the bloodshed in Myanmar, on a day when more than 140 protesters were killed.
In an interview with Reuters last year, he said his people “will never give up”.
Han Lay’s Instagram posts indicate that he spent most of the last year in Thailand. She was flying back to the country from Vietnam when she was denied entry.