Myanmar military arrest Japanese journalist who covered protests against coup in Yangon
Written by tokyoclub on May 21, 2021
Myanmar authorities have detained a Japanese journalist in Yangon, Japan’s government says, adding it is trying to secure his release.
- Japan’s government is seeking details on the circumstances surrounding the journalist’s detention
- A witness says the journalist is Yuki Kitazumi, who was previously arrested for covering protests against the coup
- Three Australian nationals have been in detention in Myanmar since February
BBC Burmese quoted a witness as saying freelance journalist Yuki Kitazumi was picked up from his home and taken into custody by troops on Sunday night.
He was asked to raise both his hands and was taken away in a car, the witness said.
A spokesman for the Japanese government did not name the journalist but said he was aged in his 40s.
He added that the government was seeking details on the circumstances surrounding the journalist’s detention.
A spokesman for the junta did not respond to calls asking for comment.
Kitazumi runs a media production company, Yangon Media Professionals, and used to be a journalist with the Nikkei business daily, according to his Facebook page and interviews with online media.
He was previously arrested in February while covering protests against the February 1 coup which toppled the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kui. However, he was released soon after.
Australians detained in Myanmar
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group, security forces have killed 737 people since the coup. It says another 3,229 people remain in detention.
Earlier this month, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed it was providing consular assistance to two Australian nationals detained in Myanmar.
Business consultants Matthew O’Kane and Christa Avery, a dual Canadian-Australian citizen, have been under house arrest in the country after trying to leave on a relief flight.
The couple run a bespoke consultancy business in Yangon.
A third Australian, Sean Turnell, who is an adviser to Ms Suu Kyi, remains in custody where he has been since early February.