Crime & Justice

Myanmar among the top jailers of journalists in the world, says Amnesty

Bangkok, Oct 6 (EFE).- The nonprofit Amnesty International (AI) denounced on Thursday that Myanmar was one of the largest jailers of journalists in the world, after a military court military court sentenced Japanese filmmaker Toru Kubota to seven years for filming a protest.

“With this latest verdict Myanmar’s military is cementing its reputation as one of the top jailers of journalists in the world,” AI’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns Ming Yu Hah said in a statement.

The Japanese government confirmed to EFE on Thursday that a military court in Myanmar had sentenced Kubota to seven years’ imprisonment Wednesday for inciting dissent against the army and violating national telecommunications laws.

The government in Tokyo added that it would continue work towards securing an early release for Kubota, and do everything possible to allow a consular meeting and communication with his family.

Kubota was arrested in July while recording protests against the military junta in the streets of Yangon, where he was shooting a documentary.

“Filming a protest is not a crime. Myanmar’s military should release Toru Kubota immediately and let him go home. It should also drop charges against and release all journalists arrested and sentenced simply for doing their job,” Ming said.

Last month, former BBC broadcaster from Myanmar, Htet Htet Khine, was sentenced by a court in Yangon to three years of forced labor for incitement and illegal association.

According to the nonprofit Reporters Without Borders, at least 115 journalists have been arrested in Myanmar since the military coup on Feb.1, 2021. Some 57 of them remain imprisoned, while seven have been tortured and three killed in custody.

Last year’s coup threw Myanmar into a political, economic and social crisis, with clashes between junta and opposition forces, and increased repression.

According to the nonprofit Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, more than 2,100 people have been killed by the security forces, while nearly 15,000 have been arbitrarily detained since the democratically elected government was overthrown in Myanmar. EFE


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