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Japanese filmmaker sentenced to 7 years in jail by Myanmar junta

  • A Myanmar court has sentenced Toru Kubota, a 26-year-old freelance filmmaker from Japan, to three years in jail for sedition and seven years in jail for electronic communications-related violations.
  • He will serve the two sentences concurrently, meaning he will spend a total of seven years in prison.
  • A source cited by Kyodo News claimed that Kubota received his sentencing in a court inside Yangon's infamous Insein Prison for political prisoners on Wednesday.
  • The Japanese filmmaker is also waiting for an upcoming trial for charges relating to breaking an immigration law, which is scheduled for Oct. 12.
  • Kubota, who entered Myanmar amid the military coup through Thailand on a tourist visa, was detained on July 30 after filming a protest in Yangon. He was charged at the time with breaking an immigration law and encouraging dissent against the junta.
  • Kubota has previously worked with several online publications, including the BBC, Vice Japan and Al Jazeera English.

A military court in Myanmar has sentenced Toru Kubota, a freelance Japanese filmmaker who filmed a protest in the city of Yangon in late July, to seven years in jail.

Kubota, 26, was handed a three-year prison sentence on Wednesday for sedition and a seven-year prison sentence for electronic communications-related violations, according to Tetsuo Kitada, deputy chief of mission of the Japanese embassy. Kubota will serve the two sentences concurrently, meaning he will spend a total of seven years in prison.

Myanmar model sentenced to 6 years in jail by military court after posting pics on OnlyFans

myanmar model
  • A woman in Myanmar has been sentenced to six years in jail for posting nude photos on OnlyFans.
  • Nang Mwe San, a model and former doctor, was convicted on Tuesday of “harming culture and dignity,” military officials said.
  • Meanwhile, Miss Myanmar 2020 Thinzar Wint Kyaw is set to face trial in October after sharing photos of herself taking part in protests online.
  • Han Lay, also known as Thaw Nandar Aung, a 23-year-old beauty queen from Myanmar, was denied re-entry into Thailand after she found that her travel documents were invalid while flying back from Vietnam.
  • An estimated 15,600 people have been detained by the military since it took over, while more than 12,000 people are still in jail and nearly 2,322 political prisoners have died.

A woman in Myanmar has been sentenced to six years in jail after posting nude photos on OnlyFans.

Nang Mwe San, a model and former doctor, was convicted on Tuesday of “harming culture and dignity,” military officials said. She lived in martial law-controlled North Dagon Township in Yangon, where the right to a lawyer is often denied to people charged with such crimes, the BBC reported.

Burmese pro-democracy rapper and political activist U Phyo Zeya Thaw executed by Myanmar junta

  • Rapper-turned-politician U Phyo Zeya Thaw, who also went by the stage name “Nitric Acid,” was one of four democracy activists hanged by the Burmese junta on Saturday.
  • Zeya Thaw was a close ally of ousted former leader and Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • Both were members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), which had been elected by popular vote to lead Myanmar before a military coup took place on Feb. 1, 2021.
  • Zeya Thaw pioneered one of Myanmar’s first hip-hop groups, using music as a form of protest against the military dictatorship’s first round of rule in the early 2000’s.
  • “With hip-hop, we can express ourselves without fear,” he said in an interview in 2011 after being released from prison for the first time. “Music can make us brave.”

Rapper-turned-politician U Phyo Zeya Thaw, who also went by the stage name Nitric Acid was one of four democracy activists hanged by the Burmese junta on Saturday. 

The global community jointly condemned the ruling military after it was announced on Monday that four men, all of whom were accused of aiding a civilian resistance movement, were executed.

Global community condemns Myanmar junta for executing 4 democracy activists, including Suu Kyi ally

myanmar
  • Myanmar’s ruling military earned global condemnation after executing Hla Myo Aung, Aung Thura Zaw, democracy advocate Kyaw Min Yu and former lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw, a known ally of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • The men, accused of aiding a civilian resistance movement, were among the 117 sentenced to die by the military-run courts since the junta took over in February last year.
  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional grouping that Myanmar is part of, denounced the execution.
  • The European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Britain and the United States released a joint statement describing the executions as "reprehensible acts of violence that further exemplify the regime's disregard for human rights and the rule of law."
  • Meanwhile, China's foreign ministry urged opposing groups in Myanmar to resolve conflicts within the country’s constitutional framework.
  • According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, Myanmar security forces have killed over 2,100 people, a figure the junta said is exaggerated.

The Myanmar junta’s execution of four democracy activists has sparked condemnation from the international community.

On Monday, the country’s ruling military announced that it had executed Hla Myo Aung, Aung Thura Zaw, democracy advocate Kyaw Min Yu and former lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw, a known ally of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

‘A lost generation’: UN expert issues urgent call for help to stop Myanmar junta’s war on children

Myanmar Report
  • Thomas Andrews, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, revealed the Myanmar military junta’s attacks on children.
  • In a June 14 report, Andrew detailed that the military attacks have displaced over 250,000 children, and more than 1,400 children have been detained. There are also 142 recorded cases of child torture.
  • Andrew highlights Myanmar children as the most vulnerable to the junta’s brutality.
  • If international action is not taken, Andrews warns that “Myanmar’s children will become a lost generation.”

Thomas Andrews, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, reported the Myanmar military junta’s “relentless attacks” on children.

Located in Southeast Asia, Myanmar is a country that borders Thailand, Bangladesh, India and China. While the majority of the population (54 million) identifies as Buddhist, there are multiple ethnic groups, including Rohingya Muslims.

Video shows Thai soldiers destroying cross-border bridge used by fleeing Myanmar refugees

  • Fortify Rights, a human rights nonprofit, posted a video showing Thai soldiers destroying a footbridge used by Burmese refugees to flee from Myanmar to Thailand.
  • In the video, which was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, a Thai soldier can be seen asking, “What are you filming, f*cker? You want to die?” Another soldier can be seen in the video dismantling one end of the bamboo bridge, whacking the wood apart with what appears to be a long blade.
  • The bridge originally crossed over the Wa Le River, which lies between Thailand and Myanmar.
  • Countless people have been fleeing Myanmar since a military coup overthrew the country’s democratically elected leaders on Feb. 1, 2021.
  • Fortify Rights called on Thai authorities to “investigate their forces’ treatment of refugees” and “abide by the principle of non-refoulement,” which is described by the United Nations as a fundamentental principle of international law that “guarantees no one be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.”

A nonprofit organization that focuses on the protection of human rights posted a video showing Thai soldiers destroying a footbridge used by Burmese refugees to flee from Myanmar to Thailand.

In the video, which was uploaded to YouTube by Fortify Rights on Tuesday, a Thai soldier can be seen asking, “What are you filming, f*cker? You want to die?” The soldier and the cameraperson stand on opposite sides of the river as the video is filmed. 

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to 5 more years in jail for corruption

MyanmarAungS
  • Democracy icon and formerMyanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to another five years in jail in a court hearing on Wednesday.
  • Myanmar has been under military rule since Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing overthrew the government in a military coup on February 1, 2021.
  • Suu Kyi was charged with accepting 11.4 kilograms of gold and cash payments of $600,000 from the former Yangon Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein, who testified at the trial.
  • Suu Kyi has denied all allegations, with the support of the international community and several human rights groups.
  • President Biden will host the Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Washington, D.C., in May, and Suu Kyi’s imprisonment is expected to be a point of major discussion.

Democracy icon and former Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to another five years in jail in a court hearing on Wednesday.

Myanmar has been under military rule since Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing overthrew the government in a military coup on February 1, 2021. Along with the other senior government officials of her party, Suu Kyi, 76, was taken at gunpoint and detained.

US arrests Japanese Yakuza boss over missile sales to Myanmar rebels

yakuza leader
  • Japanese Yakuza leader Takeshi Ebisawa was arrested alongside co-conspirators for plotting drug distribution and purchasing U.S. surface-to-air missiles for Myanmar rebels.
  • Authorities said Ebisawa planned to sell heroin and methamphetamine in the U.S. and acquired the missiles to protect drug shipments.
  • Ebisawa and his co-conspirators were detained in Manhattan, and each now faces a potential life sentence.
  • Ebisawa’s drug and weapons network extends to Japan, Thailand and Sri Lanka and has been under investigation by the U.S. since 2019.

Japanese Yakuza leader Takeshi Ebisawa was arrested by U.S. officials Thursday on charges of plotting to sell drugs and for purchasing U.S. surface-to-air missiles for Myanmar rebels.

Ebisawa, 57, is described by federal prosecutors as a leader in a Japanese crime syndicate and is believed to have worked with co-conspirators. Their plot was discovered through their conversations with an undercover DEA agent. An unsealed criminal complaint Thursday revealed the missiles were meant to be used to protect drug shipments. Ebisawa had also schemed to sell heroin and methamphetamine in the U.S.

US formally recognizes Myanmar military violence against Rohingya as genocide

U.S. declares genocide
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken officially declared that Myanmar’s military junta has committed genocide and crimes against humanity on Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.
  • The declaration, which occurred at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington on Monday, did not establish any direct punitive measures against the junta.
  • Blinken vowed that the U.S. government will continue its effort to push for accountability by allocating $1 million of funding to the United Nations' Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.
  • Before the official declaration on Monday, the U.S. had only formally used the word “genocide” seven times to describe attacks on several minorities, including the Islamic State's attacks on Yazidis and other minorities.
  • Previously, the U.S. described the junta’s acts as “ethnic cleansing.” Since 2017, more than 730,000 Rohingya have reportedly been driven away from their homes to seek refuge in neighboring countries, such as Bangladesh and Indonesia.
  • The junta organized a coup in February 2021 and has been in power ever since.

The United States has formally declared that Myanmar’s military junta has committed genocide and crimes against humanity on Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.

The official declaration was announced by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington on Monday.