YANGON (AFP): The Myanmar junta has charged a Japanese journalist under a “fake news” law, a report said Tuesday, in the latest blow to press freedom since the military seized power.
Freelance reporter Yuki Kitazumi was arrested last month and charged on Monday — World Press Freedom Day — with spreading fake news, according to a report by Kyodo news agency.
He is one of 50 journalists currently held in Myanmar as part of the junta’s crackdown on widespread protests against its February 1 coup.
The country has been in turmoil since civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s government was ousted, with more than 750 people killed as security forces struggle to quash near-daily demonstrations against their rule.
Kyodo cited an unnamed Japanese embassy official saying Kitazumi had no health problems, despite spending several weeks in Yangon’s Insein prison, which has a long and unsavoury reputation for holding political prisoners.
Kitazumi has been in custody since April 18 — the second time he had been arrested since the coup.