Tue, 12 Dec 2023

YANGON, Myanmar - According to the ruling military administration, a Japanese journalist detained in Myanmar has been charged with violating immigration law and encouraging dissent against the army.

Toru Kubota, detained last week while covering a protest in Yangon, "has been charged with encouraging dissent against the military, which carries a maximum three-year prison term."

Breaching immigration law carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Kubota, a 26-year-old filmmaker, was arrested alongside two Myanmar citizens near an anti-government rally in Yangon.

He was transferred from police custody to Yangon's Insein Prison after the charges were filed, a security source told the AFP news agency on anonymity.

"He's in good health, and embassy officials have already paid him a visit at the police station where he's being held."

Kubota previously produced documentaries on Myanmar's Rohingya minority and "refugees and ethnic issues in Myanmar." According to his website, Kubota has worked with media outlets such as Yahoo! News Japan, VICE JAPAN, and Al Jazeera English.

He is the fifth foreign journalist detained in Myanmar, following US citizens Nathan Maung and Danny Fenster, Polish journalist Robert Bociaga, and Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi, who were released and deported.

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