Japanese Man Detained in Burma After Filming Protest: Media

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A group of activists hold placards of Japanese citizen Toru Kubota, who is detained in Burma, during a rally in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo, Japan, on July 31, 2022. (PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

A Japanese man has been detained by authorities in Myanmar after filming a protest in the country’s biggest city of Yangon, Jiji news agency reported on Sunday, citing Japanese government officials.

The report did not name the man, but said he was aged in his 20s and that the Japanese embassy in Myanmar had called for his release.

Some local media reports named the man as documentary filmmaker Toru Kubota and said he was detained in the South Dagon area of Yangon on Saturday along with two others at a protest against the recent execution of four activists by military authorities.

Reuters could not independently confirm the reports.

A spokesman for Myanmar’s junta did not answer a phone call seeking comment and the Japanese embassy in the country could also not be immediately reached for comment.

Last year, Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi was arrested in Myanmar and charged with spreading false news during a crackdown on media after the military coup. He was later allowed to leave Myanmar and returned to Japan.

Since the military seized power in Myanmar in February last year, nearly 15,000 people have been arrested and 11,820 remain in detention, according to the Assistance Association for political prisoners, an activist group.

Reuters

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