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Video shows Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai ‘being shot deliberately’

Posted by Atilla89 on September 29, 2007

I’m sure that many of you have been watching the situation in Burma very closely. Once again I really hope these protesters are successful and overthrow the military. Anyway, here’s the shocking video of Japanese journalist, Kenji Nagai being deliberately shot through the heart. This video does contain disturbing scenes.

 

Here is more on the subject from the UK Times.

Footage capturing the last, terrible seconds of Kenji Nagai’s life has been aired on Japanese television – horrifying a nation and raising official suspicion that the 50-year old photo-journalist was murdered by Burmese troops (writes Leo Lewis in Tokyo).

The shaky, indistinct moments of footage appear to show Nagai, who was on the edge of a crowd of panic-stricken demonstrators, shoved violently to the ground by a soldier and shot dead at point-blank range.

The crowd flees, leaving behind a visibly agonised figure believed to be Nagai – dressed casually in shorts and flip-flops – on his back in the street. In his right hand is a video camera, held above the ground to protect it from the fall.

A loud crack is audible as a soldier points his rifle at the prone figure before launching himself at the dispersing crowd of protesters.

A doctor at the Japanese embassy in Burma confirmed a bullet entered Nagai’s body from the lower right side of his chest, pierced his heart and exited from his back.

The footage, say Japanese experts, squarely contradicts the official Burmese explanation of Nagai’s death – that he was killed by a “stray bullet”.

In the few seconds before he was killed, Nagai appeared to being filming the Burmese military as it faced down the crowd. One of the soldiers seems to spot him doing so, and launches his deadly response.

Yasuo Fukuda, Japan’s Prime Minister, said that Tokyo would press the regime for a full explanation of Nagai’s death, nonetheless ruling out immediate sanctions against Burma.

Earlier, the Foreign Minister, Masahiko Komura said that the footage appeared to show that Nagai was slain deliberately by Burmese troops as they charged on a crowd of civilians. The government is to dispatch the deputy foreign minister to Burma to establish the truth behind Nagai’s death.

Japanese media are hailing Nagai as a heroic crusader for the truth. His elderly mother, who made a brief, tearful statement this afternoon, said that she begged her son not to go to Burma, but Nagai had simply told her that it was his job to go to places nobody else wanted to. “I wept through the night as I thought about my son,” she said, “his job always made me prepared for the worst, but every time he went away my heart would beat fast.”

Nagai’s father said that if his son had indeed been shot dead at point blank range, it was the cruelest way to die.

Japanese television stations today showed a montage of Nagai’s work – mostly video taken during conflicts in the Middle East. His photo-journalism focused heavily on the victims of any conflict he covered.

The largest foreign donor of overseas development aid to Burma, Japan has officially said it will not cut off aid to the military-run nation. But foreign ministry sources today told The Times that its multi-million dollar donations to the country were now under review.

In Rangoon today several thousand protesters took to the streets once more in defiance of the soldiers and riot police, who sealed off much of the city centre with barbed wire barricades.

Soldiers were stationed inside and outside five large monasteries whose monks had previously led the protests, and today none were allowed to emerge.

The protesters tried to make the best of the absence of much revered monks from the protests. “The monks have done their job and now we must carry on with the movement,” one told a crowd.

About 20 truckloads of soldiers broke up a demonstration of 2,000 civilians near the Sule Pagoda, beating them with clubs and firing into the air. Smaller protests in other areas turned into a dangerous cat-and-mouse game in the side streets.

One Western diplomat said: “There have been massive arrests, certainly in the hundreds. The death toll is certainly higher now.”

Bob Davis, the Australian Ambassador to Burma, said that the number of dead was probably “several multiples” more than the ten officially acknowledged by the Burmese authorities.

Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, called for an end to the violence and said he too was speaking to Wen Jiabao, the Chinese Prime Minister and President Bush about the crisis.

“I condemn the violence that has been used against the unarmed Burmese protesters who have been exercising, with great bravery, their right to peaceful protest,” Mr Brown said in a statement.

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