Japanese reporter detained by military whilst covering protest story

Myanmar security force arrested several protesters in Yangon on Friday. (Image: Mizzima News)

A Japanese freelance reporter, Yuki Kitazumi was detained by security forces in Yangon on Friday whilst covering the anti-coup rally but was released hours later unharmed.

Local media showed images of the reporter with a camera around his neck, being released from Sanchaung town police station late afternoon.

The former reporter for the Tokyo-based Nikkei Business Daily who lives in Yangon, said to a group of fellow reporters and the people at the gate: “Thank you very much for all of your friends who tried to help me….I’m OK, I’m safe.”

He said that one of around six protesters who were still detained inside the police station asked him to convey to friends and family waiting outside that they too were safe.

“I hope all the prisoners will be released, not only me,” he said.

As for the reasons given for his detention, Kitazumi said in English, “They said they did not know I’m a journalist. That was their explanation. But I had a helmet with sticker of the press, so I don’t think their explanation is right.”

Despite the military’s ban on gatherings of five or more people, protests are still ongoing across the country.

According to a TV report, 31 people have been detained in Yangon and 39 in Mandalay since Friday. Legal proceeding awaits these protesters as they were allegedly violent and had attacked the security force.

Source: Khaosod English