Myanmar Junta Jails Japanese Journalist for Three More Years for Immigration Breach: Embassy Source

By AFP 13 October 2022

Myanmar’s junta on Wednesday sentenced a Japanese journalist arrested while filming an anti-coup protest to three more years in jail for breaching immigration laws, a diplomatic source told AFP.

Toru Kubota, who was jailed for seven years last week, “was sentenced to three years imprisonment” for violating the country’s immigration law, a diplomatic source at Japan’s embassy said, citing Kubota’s lawyer.

Kubota, 26, was detained near an anti-government rally in Yangon in July along with two Myanmar citizens.

Last week, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for breaching a law that criminalizes spreading information detrimental to state security, peace and tranquility, and for three years for encouraging dissent against the military.

Those sentences will be served concurrently, the junta has said.

The dissent charge has been widely used by the junta in its crackdown on opponents since seizing power last year.

Kubota appeared in good health at the hearing on Wednesday, the source said, citing his lawyer.

According to a profile on FilmFreeway, Kubota has previously made documentaries on Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority and “refugees and ethnic issues in Myanmar”.

Myanmar’s junta has clamped down on press freedoms, arresting reporters and photographers, as well as revoking broadcasting licences.