Dodging the bloodstained sandals and the panic-stricken masses who fled troops near Sule Pagoda in the centre of the Burmese capital Rangoon yesterday, Kenji Nagai kept his camera rolling, recording vital footage of Burma's closed society and providing a lifeline to the outside world for the protesting monks and civilians who were risking their lives for much-needed change.
Then, in one dreadful moment, the Japanese video journalist took a bullet in the chest – almost certainly from the gun of a Burmese soldier.
We cannot be certain of the exact circumstances in which Mr Nagai died, but a series of pictures appears to suggest he was callously gunned down, a victim of the repressive junta who are almost as keen to quell the worldwide media coverage of the protests as they are to quell the protests themselves. Burmese state television has been running news bulletins accusing global broadcasters of pumping out a "Skyful of lies".
It fell to Mr Nagai's father to identify his son, who was working for the Japanese news agency APF News, from photos and videos taken in the street where he was killed. Japan has lodged a protest with the Burmese authorities. Mr Nagai was one of at least nine people known to have been killed in Rangoon yesterday. There may have been more. It seems unlikely that they will have been the last.Reuse content