Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the death of a Japanese news photographer on the streets of Rangoon this morning. Kenji Nagai, fifty years old, worked for the photoagency APF. He has been in Burma for two days. Another foreign journalist was reportedly injured. The press casualties came after the security forces opened fire on demonstrators near the Tarder Hotel in the centre of Rangoon.
As the security forces step up their crackdown by firing on crowds and arresting hundreds of monks and pro-democracy activists, communications continue to be severely disrupted by the authorities.
Internet communication has been slowed right down while more mobile phones have been disconnected. Many blogs maintained by Burmese citizens have been made inaccessible by the authorities. Despite these restrictions, pictures and reports continue to get out of the country thanks to the foreign journalists present there and to Burmese journalists.
Dozens of foreign reporters who applied to the Burmese embassies in Bangkok or Beijing have been refused visas to visit Burma. Press visas are severely restricted by the military and scores of journalists and human rights activists have been blacklisted.