Yangon — The Myanmar junta has charged a Japanese journalist under a "fake news" law, a report said Tuesday, in the latest blow to press freedom since the military seized power. Freelance reporter Yuki Kitazumi was arrested last month and charged on Monday — World Press Freedom Day — with spreading fake news, according to a report by Japan's Kyodo news agency.
Kitazumi is one of 50 journalists currently held in Myanmar, also known as Burma, as part of the junta's crackdown on widespread protests against the February 1 coup. Several Burmese journalists who work for foreign outlets, including an Associated Press photographer, have been arrested and charged with similar crimes since the coup, but Kitazumi is the first foreign journalist said to have been charged since the military takeover. The country has been in turmoil since civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi's government was ousted, with more than 750 people killed as security forces struggle to quash near-daily demonstrations against their rule.