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Myanmar Hands 10-Year Prison Sentence to Japanese Journalist

BANGKOK – A court docket in military-ruled Myanmar has sentenced a Japanese journalist to jail after he filmed an anti-government protest in July, a Japanese diplomat stated Thursday.

Toru Kubota was sentenced Wednesday to seven years for violating the digital transactions legislation and three years for incitement, stated Tetsuo Kitada, deputy chief of mission of the Japanese embassy. The sentences had been to be served concurrently. A cost of violating immigration legislation is believed to nonetheless be pending.

The digital transactions legislation covers offenses that contain spreading false or provocative data on-line, and carries a jail time period of seven to fifteen years. Incitement is a catch-all political legislation protecting actions deemed to trigger unrest, and has been used often towards journalists and dissidents, normally with a three-year jail time period.

Kubota was arrested on July 30 by plainclothes police in Yangon, the nation’s largest metropolis, after taking pictures and movies of a flash protest towards Myanmar’s 2021 takeover by the navy, which ousted the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Kubota was the fifth international journalist detained in Myanmar after the navy seized energy. U.S. residents Nathan Maung and Danny Fenster, who labored for native publications, and freelancers Robert Bociaga of Poland and Yuki Kitazumi of Japan had been ultimately deported earlier than serving full jail sentences.

Roughly 150 journalists in all have been arrested, with greater than half launched, however the media stays underneath tight restrictions. Free media are pressured to function underground or from overseas.

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