U Thein Zan from Thingangyun township, who was arrested on March 7 for defacing a copy of a government newspaper, was released from Insein prison yesterday after spending 22 days in detention.

Two men, identified to U Thein Zan’s family only as U Soe Myint and U Kyi Maung, reportedly acted as guarantors for U Thein Zan, who was released despite having been denied bail on Monday, according to his lawyer.

Early this month, U Thein Zan wrote “Are you sure, Maung Kalu?”-a common headline on pro-military propaganda articles-over the top of a copy of the state-run Myanmar Ahlin newspaper he had stuck on his fence after becoming enraged by recent commodity price rises.

U Thein Zan told DVB yesterday it was the price of onions that had provoked him.

“My wife bought four onions the size of a man’s thumb from the market and she told me that they cost 300 kyat. As I was born in 1942 and had seen better times, I became very angry and questioned whether these four onions could cost 300. Then I put the newspaper clippings,” U Thein Zan said.

He said since his act of political defiance was small, he doubted the authorities would take further action against him. It remains unclear who U Soe Myint and U Kyi Maung are, and why they decided to give 10 million kyats to the authorities to guarantee U Thein Zan’s release.

U Thein Zan’s family told DVB they had asked the two men which organisation they came from but that they only replied that they were civilians.