On arrival in Japan, Yuki Kitazumi says he was “extremely frustrated” at being deported from Myanmar and that he had collected harrowing testimonies from his fellow inmates in Insein Prison.
A Japanese freelance journalist arrested while covering the aftermath of the Myanmar coup arrived in Tokyo on Friday, after charges against him were dropped as a diplomatic gesture.
Yuki Kitazumi, held in Yangon’s Insein Prison since his arrest on April 19 at his apartment in Yangon, was one of at least 80 reporters detained during the junta’s crackdown on anti-coup dissent.
Security forces have killed more than 780 people since protests erupted following the February 1 coup that ousted the civilian government, according to local monitoring group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
“I am in good health, both mentally and physically,” said Kitazumi after landing at Tokyo’s Narita airport.
But he admitted he was “extremely frustrated” at being deported from Myanmar.
“I am a journalist and I wanted to convey what was happening in Yangon,” he said, adding that he had collected harrowing testimonies from his fellow inmates in prison.
“Some are deprived of meals for two days, others are questioned whilst being threatened with a weapon, or beaten if they try to deny [the allegations].”
“Thanks to my Japanese nationality, I was able to escape this type of treatment, but the reality is that many Burmese are being tortured.”
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said earlier that Tokyo had used “various channels” to press for Kitazumi’s release and that it had been “tough work”.
“As a result of those efforts, yesterday the Myanmar authorities announced that they would withdraw the indictment,” he told reporters in Tokyo.
Source – Frontier Myanmar