Myanmar model denied entry over Interpol notice

Myanmar model denied entry over Interpol notice

BANGKOK — A Myanmar model who took refuge in Thailand after speaking out against a military coup in her homeland has been blocked from returning to Bangkok, Thai authorities said on Thursday, over what her manager said was an Interpol notice.

The 23-year-old was not being detained and arrangements were being made for her to board a flight from Thailand, the department said in a statement.

Nawit Itsaragrisil, founder of Thailand's Miss Grand International pageant, who 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.

She wants to live in Thailand, he told Reuters. She is waiting for a solution on how she can stay in Thailand. Myanmar has been in a crisis since a coup in February last year that set off protests that the military suppressed with lethal force and thousands of arrests.

The junta's crackdown had multiple targets, from pro-democracy and youth groups to activists, politicians and even celebrities and social media influencers.

A military council spokesman for Myanmar could not be reached for comment. Interpol didn't respond to a request for comment on whether Han Lay was the subject of an Interpol notice.

Han Lay was a contestant in Miss Grand International when videos went viral on social media of her fighting back tears on stage when talking about the bloodshed in Myanmar, on a day when more than 140 demonstrators were killed.

In an interview with Reuters last year, she said her people would never give up. Han Lay has spent most of the past year in Thailand, according to her Instagram postings. She was returning to the country on a flight from Vietnam when she was denied entry.