Political prisoners in Myanmar subjected to inhumane treatment by military, says Japanese scribe

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Representative Image

Tokyo [Japan], May 16 (ANI): A Japanese freelance journalist, who spent nearly four weeks in a Myanmar prison before returning to Japan on Friday, said that political prisoners imprisoned by the military are being subjected to inhumane conditions.

In an online interview with Kyodo News, Yuki Kitazumi said that he will work with Japan to help the military-run Myanmar return to democracy, adding that those incarcerated in the prison had pleaded with him to report on what is going on in the country.

The 45-year-old Kitazumi was arrested on April 18 on the suspicion of spreading 'fake news' regarding the military and was kept in the infamous Insein Prison in Yangon, where many political prisoners have been held.

He recalled that the prisoners have been punched and kicked while being blindfolded and tortured nearly fatally. He also said that they were denied food for several days.

In over three months since the military coup on February 1 that ousted Myanmar's civilian-led government, several protesters have been killed and thousands detained.

Kitazumi said that he was questioned seven to eight times while in detention. "Even though I was not subjected to violence, an interrogator banged the desk hard when I refused to sign a statement containing things I had no recollection of saying. That frightened me," he said, Kyodo News reported.

While in Myanmar, the Japanese journalist had covered anti-coup protests and posted on social media information deemed critical of the military.

He said he will report on Myanmar from Japan, expressing hope that the Myanmar issue will draw interest from as many people as possible.

Kyodo News reported citing local media that the junta had decided to release Kitazumi on Thursday "in consideration of cordial relations between Myanmar and Japan up to now and in view of future bilateral relations, and upon the request of the Japanese government special envoy on Myanmar's national reconciliation".

The junta's security forces have killed 790 people as of Saturday since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group monitoring the situation in Myanmar. (ANI)