A Japanese journalist was arrested by police in Burma in the first foreign press arrest since the February 1 military coup in the country, according to a report.
Yuki Kitazumi was arrested on Friday morning in Yangon, the country’s largest city, his colleague Linn Nyan Htun said in a Facebook post.
Kitazumi had been covering a protest against the coup, reported Kyodo News in Japan. He runs a production company in the city and used to work for Japan’s Nikkei business daily, Reuters reported.
“According to witnesses, he was hit on the head but he was wearing a helmet, so he did not cause much damage,” Linn Nyan Htun wrote in the post. “I have contacted the embassy and have not yet heard much more information.” He said that he did not know the reason why Kitazumi had been arrested.
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He told Reuters: “I was not a witness, but I received a message from him through the messaging app around 11:30 am that he was arrested. After that, I lost connection with him.”
The protests have continued for weeks since the elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested along with most members of her administration when the military took control earlier this month.
In his latest Facebook post titled “Peace,” Kitazumi described the army’s brutal tactics against protesters, many of whom, he said, are still on the streets.
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Australian academic Sean Turnell was also previously arrested. He was an advisor to Aung San Suu Kyi, according to Reuters.