A Japanese documentary filmmaker detained in July in Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for violating the immigration law, legal sources said.
The sentence by the special court set up by the military inside Insein Prison in Yangon brings Toru Kubota's total prison time to 10 years after already being sentenced by the same court last week to seven years for sedition and electronic communications-related violations.
Kubota was detained by authorities on July 30 while filming a protest against the military, which seized power from the democratically elected government in a February 2021 coup.
The military claims he entered the Southeast Asian country from neighboring Thailand using a tourist visa and that he was participating in the demonstration and communicating with protesters while filming.
The military also alleges Kubota previously reported on the Rohingya Muslim minority group and disseminated false information. The Rohingya have been persecuted in the Buddhist-majority country, with hundreds of thousands of them uprooted and forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh in recent years.
It is unclear if the military will pardon Kubota. A Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi, who was arrested in April last year and indicted for spreading false news reports, was released the following month and returned to Japan.
On Wednesday, a military spokesman in Naypyitaw relayed a message to Japanese media in Yangon that there is no immediate plan to release Kubota.