A Japanese journalist has been arrested by police in Burma in the first foreign press arrest since the country’s Feb. 1 military coup, according to a report.
Yuki Kitazumi was arrested on Friday morning in Yangon, the largest city in the country, colleague Linn Nyan Htun said in a Facebook post.
Kitazumi had been covering an anti-coup protest, Kyodo News in Japan reported. 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 beaten on his head but he was wearing a helmet, so it didn’t cause him much harm,” Linn Nyan Htun wrote in the post. “I have contacted the embassy and haven’t heard much more information yet.” He said he didn’t know the reason Kitazumi had been arrested.
He told Reuters “I didn’t witness it but I received a message from him via messenger app around 11:30 that he got arrested. After that I lost connection with him.”
Protests have continued for weeks since elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested along with most members of her administration when the military seized control earlier this month.
In his latest Facebook post titled “Peace,” Kitazumi described the military’s brutal tactics against protesters, many of whom, he said, are still on the streets.
Australian academic, Sean Turnell, was also previously arrested. He was an adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi, according to Reuters.