Myanmar prosecutes Japanese journalists on suspicion of fake news


In an interview held in Fukuoka on April 1, 2013, Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi talks about this photo released by Kyoto.

Mr. Kitazumi worked as a freelance journalist in Myanmar

A Japanese journalist arrested in Myanmar was charged with spreading fake news, the Japanese embassy in the country said.

Yuki Kitazumi is the first foreign journalist known to have been prosecuted since the coup.

He was arrested in April and has been in jail ever since.

More than 700 people have been killed and thousands, including many local journalists, have been detained since the Myanmar military coup d’etat in February.

Working as a freelance journalist, Mr. Kitazumi appeared as a rare foreign journalist from within Myanmar (also known as Burma), reporting on many of Japan’s major media outlets.

The 45-year-old boy was arrested on April 18, when police attacked his home in the country’s major city, Yangon (Rangoon). He had already been temporarily detained on February 26th.

The Japanese embassy in Myanmar said he did not show any health problems, but added that they were urging the military to release him.

According to Japanese media, he faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

In addition to reporting protests and killings against the coup and subsequent Japanese newspapers and broadcasters, Kitazumi frequently posted on his social media accounts about the situation and its impact on the public.

Yangon protesters

Protests continue despite the brutal crackdown

Massive protests have taken place throughout Myanmar since the military testified to the elected government and declared a state of emergency for a year.

Through months of demonstrations, authorities have cracked down on protesters and freed the press.

It is known that about 80 local journalists have been detained for the press so far. According to a surveillance group of the Burmese Political Prisoner Assistance Association (AAPP) 50 of them are still in custody And half of them were charged.

Several foreign journalists were also arrested.

The military justified their takeover by claiming widespread fraud during the general elections at the end of last year that brought elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) back into power. ..

The military instead promised to hold “free and fair” elections after the state of emergency.

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