Tuesday, May 7

Slain Japanese journalist’s digital camera surfaces after 15 years

BANGKOK — A video digital camera that had been lacking for greater than 15 years after it was dropped by a Japanese journalist who was fatally shot throughout a road protest in Myanmar was handed over Wednesday to his sister at a ceremony in Bangkok.

Kenji Nagai was recording the demonstration on Sept. 27, 2007, in downtown Yangon – a part of a peaceable anti-military rebellion often known as the Saffron Revolution – when troopers arrived, dispersing the group with gunfire. The 50-year-old journalist, who was working for Japan’s APF News, a small video and photograph company, was hit and mortally wounded. He was one in every of about 10 individuals killed that day.

Nagai’s sister Noriko Ogawa obtained the small Sony Handycam from Aye Chan Naing, head of the Democratic Voice of Burma, a Myanmar media group which was concerned in its restoration.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she mentioned. “This is a great surprise and joy for me, as I hadn’t even had any information about the camera until now.”

The handover of the digital camera comes as Myanmar is within the grip of upheaval far worse than that of 2007. A widespread, decided armed resistance has sprung up in response to the overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected authorities by the army in 2021. According to tallies stored by journalists in Myanmar, three of their native colleagues have been killed by the authorities for the reason that military takeover and greater than 150 detained. A handful of overseas journalists had been additionally detained and later deported.

The digital camera when discovered nonetheless had the unique tape inside it. Its contents had been screened at Wednesday’s occasion.

PHOTOS: Slain Japanese journalist’s digital camera surfaces after 15 years

The photos confirmed protesters and monks on the street near Yangon’s historic Sule Pagoda, singing and chanting, with police blocking their manner. Trucks filled with troopers then arrived, prompting Nagai to show the digital camera on himself.

“The army has arrived. Over there, that’s the army,” he says. “I think it’s a heavily armed army. In front of the temple, it is filled with citizens. Citizens are gathering in front of the head of the Buddha. A heavily armed army truck has arrived.”

The photos then seem to indicate individuals scattering. The video reduce off earlier than the deadly second.

However, video recorded by the Democratic Voice of Burma caught the second of Nagai’s loss of life, as he fell down and was then apparently shot at shut vary by a soldier. A photograph of the incident taken by Adrees Latif of the Reuters information company gained a 2008 Pulitzer Prize.

Exact particulars of when and the way Nagai’s digital camera was discovered and the place it was stored within the intervening years stay imprecise. Aye Chan Naing mentioned solely that it had gone by means of a sequence of individuals earlier than getting out of Myanmar.

“For obvious security reasons, we cannot go deeper into how we get out. What I can tell you is we got it through a good citizen who knew what was right and what was wrong and that is how we got it,” he mentioned.

Nagai’s sister mentioned she hoped an evaluation of the tape would disprove the Myanmar authorities’s declare that he had not been intentionally focused.

“I will definitely bring this camera and tape back to Japan and I would like to confirm that this is what my older brother really held onto until the end, investigate the details of the data and clarify what my brother wanted to tell, and the truth about the cause of his death. I hope I can reverse the Myanmar military’s claim that my brother’s death was an accident,” she mentioned.

An op-ed in Myanmar’s state-controlled press lower than a month after the capturing mentioned Nagai was in charge for his personal loss of life as a result of he put himself in hurt’s manner.

“The Japanese correspondent caused his tragic end by getting among the protesters, it said. “Surely, the Japanese correspondent was shot accidentally, not on purpose. He met his tragic end due to the fact that he was together with the protesters at an improper site at an improper time.”

The article additionally complained that Nagai had entered the nation on a vacationer visa, not a journalist visa. Journalist visas had been very troublesome, if not not possible, to acquire throughout the interval of the protest.

Shawn Crispin from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, a press freedom group, mentioned hazard for journalists in Myanmar persists.

“Today’s event is important and timely as a reminder that the Myanmar military has and continued to kill journalists with impunity,” mentioned Crispin, who took half in Wednesday’s ceremony. “And the killings won’t stop until Kenji’s murder receives full justice, from the triggerman, from any commanders that day who gave shoot-to-kill orders, to the military leaders who orchestrated that day’s lethal repression.”

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