Myanmar jails Japanese filmmaker

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — Myanmar’s junta has jailed a Japanese filmmaker for 10 years for encouraging dissent against the military and violating an electronic communications law, a diplomatic source told AFP on Thursday.

The military has clamped down on press freedoms since its coup last year, arresting reporters and photographers as well as revoking broadcasting licenses as the country plunged into chaos.

Toru Kubota was sentenced by the court in Yangon’s Insein prison on Wednesday, a diplomat at Japan’s embassy in Myanmar said, adding that the filmmaker’s trial for allegedly violating immigration law was “still continuing.”

Kubota, 26, was detained near an anti-government rally in Yangon in July along with two Myanmar citizens.

The court sentenced Kubota to “seven years imprisonment” for breaching an electronic communications law, and three years for encouraging dissent, the source said.

The dissent charge carries a maximum three-year jail term and has been widely used in the crackdown on opposition to the coup.

The next hearing for the immigration charge would take place next Wednesday, the source added.

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