Japanese filmmaker sentenced for “sedition”, Thai media reports local links with Burma crony

Japanese filmmaker sentenced for “sedition”, Thai media reports local links with Burma crony

Japanese filmmaker sentenced for “sedition” in Burma

Japanese filmmaker and journalist Toru Kubota was sentenced to 10 years in prison for violating sedition and communications laws, according to a Japanese foreign ministry spokesperson. Kubota, 26, was arrested at an anti-coup protest in Yangon last July. He was accused of encouraging dissent against the military and of violating immigration laws, according to the official. Kubota is due back in court on Oct. 12. 

Thai media reports investigation into local links with Burma crony

Thai authorities are investigating  the connection of Senator Upakit Pachariyangkun with Tun Min Latt, the Burma national arrested in Bangkok and charged with conspiracy to traffic narcotics and money laundering, Thai media reported. Pachariyangkun denied accusations of a business relationship with Tun Min Latt. He threatened to sue anyone making these claims. Tun Min Latt maintains a close relationship with Burma’s junta leader Min Aung Hlaing.

Another local media outlet shuts down in Burma

The Mon News Agency (MNA) announced that it is “no longer willing to continue.” It shut down all operations on Oct. 5. MNA is based in Mawlamyine and is a member of Burma News International (BNI), a network established in 2003 to give voice to ethnic communities in regions and states across Burma. It covered news in Burmese, Mon and English languages. MNA has yet to respond to DVB’s request for comment.  “Everything has fallen apart because of the military coup. Incidents like the [closing of] Mon News Agency are proof. As a former journalist, I am saddened that a news agency has closed down. It is also a time for ethnic media outlets to be strengthened in Mon State,” said Sai Tun Aung Lwin, a former journalist at MNA. Ten media outlets, including DVB, have had their media licenses revoked by the junta. Fifty journalists are currently in prison; three have been killed since the coup. 

News by Region

BAGO—More than 20 political prisoners, including striking civil servants, at Thayarwady Prison were beaten and forced to do hard labor, family members told DVB. “My family member who was inside the prison was asked to speak out for the political prisoners. Authorities forced the detainees to perform hard labor, including digging a toilet pit. They were also treated poorly during meal time,” a man said. Since the coup, more than 12,500 people have been arrested nationwide for political activities, according to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP). Many families have lost contact with their loved ones who’ve been detained.

KAREN—A Burma Army airstrike on Mektha village in Payarthonesu Township injured a Buddhist monk and destroyed a monastery. The strike occurred Oct. 6 and came eight days after Karen National Liberation Army-led forces occupied a Burma Army outpost in the township. Thirteen Burma army troops were killed in the attack. Locals said that the airstrike was in retaliation.

SAGAING—A 60-year-old woman died from a landmine in Min Hla Village, Myaung Township on Oct. 6. Locals said that the landmine was planted by the Burma Army. Local defense forces cleared three Burma Army landmines at a Myaung’s Sinkoo Village monastery on Sept. 5. Locals have taken refuge at the monastery.

TANINTHARYI—Dawei Political Prisoners Network (DPPN) announced that the district court is leveling new charges against 10 convicted political prisoners in Dawei Prison. The 10 prisoners had already received sentences of up to 26 years of imprisonment each. More than 250 political prisoners are currently detained in Dawei Prison, according to DPPN.

YANGON—A man was shot on Thansuma Road in South Okkalapa Township on Oct. 5. “The person was shot by an unidentified gunman on the road. The shooter was walking and shot the victim in the head and ran away,” a witness told DVB. The motivation behind the attack is currently unknown. An explosion occurred at a ward administration office in Shwe Pyi Thar Township injuring a woman.

Six people were injured in an attack at the home of a ward administrator in Dagon Seikkan Township on Oct. 5. “Six were wounded and girls were among the injured,” a local told DVB. The perpetrators are unknown.

*All stories are based on breaking news, and are reported with information that DVB receives in real time. DVB will update stories on our social media pages or website as and when new or more accurate information becomes available.