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Slain Japanese journalist’s digital camera surfaces after 15 years

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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 avenue 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 generally known as the Saffron Revolution -– when troopers arrived, dispersing the gang with gunfire. The 50-year-old journalist, who was working for Japan’s APF Information, a small video and photograph company, was hit and mortally wounded. He was certainly one of about 10 individuals killed that day.

Nagai’s sister Noriko Ogawa acquired 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.

“Thanks from the underside of my coronary heart,” she mentioned. “It is a nice shock and pleasure for me, as I hadn’t even had any details about the digital camera till 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 navy in 2021. In accordance with tallies stored by journalists in Myanmar, three of their native colleagues have been killed by the authorities because the military takeover and greater than 150 detained. A handful of international journalists have been additionally detained and later deported.

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

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

“The military has arrived. Over there, that is the military,” he says. “I believe it’s a closely armed military. In entrance of the temple, it’s full of residents. Residents are gathering in entrance of the pinnacle of the Buddha. A closely armed military truck has arrived.”

The pictures then seem to indicate individuals scattering. The video minimize off earlier than the deadly second.

Nonetheless, video recorded by the Democratic Voice of Burma caught the second of Nagai’s demise, 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.

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

“For apparent safety causes, we can’t go deeper into how we get out. What I can inform you is we acquired it by way of an excellent citizen who knew what was proper and what was improper and that’s how we acquired 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’ll undoubtedly convey this digital camera and tape again to Japan and I want to affirm that that is what my older brother actually held onto till the tip, examine the main points of the information and make clear what my brother needed to inform, and the reality about the reason for his demise. I hope I can reverse the Myanmar navy’s declare that my brother’s demise was an accident,” she mentioned.

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

“The Japanese correspondent brought about his tragic finish by getting among the many protesters, it mentioned. “Absolutely, the Japanese correspondent was shot unintentionally, not on objective. He met his tragic finish as a result of the truth that he was along with the protesters at an improper website at an improper time.”

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

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

“As we speak’s occasion is vital and well timed as a reminder that the Myanmar navy has and continued to kill journalists with impunity,” mentioned Crispin, who took half in Wednesday’s ceremony. “And the killings gained’t cease till Kenji’s homicide receives full justice, from the triggerman, from any commanders that day who gave shoot-to-kill orders, to the navy leaders who orchestrated that day’s deadly repression.”

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