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Reuters journalists investigating Rohingya killings sentenced to 7 years in prison

 

Two Reuters journalists accused of breaking Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act have been found guilty and sentenced to seven years each in jail, a Yangon court has decided.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were originally detained in December 2017, after working on an investigation into the mass killing of a number of Rohingya villagers in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Following sentencing Kyaw maintained the pair’s innocence, but added that they were unsurprised by the verdict. “We didn’t go anything wrong,” he said. “We’re not exactly shocked by the verdict.”

The pair’s boss, Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said that the conviction was “a sad day” for the organization, the two men and “the press everywhere.”

Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson echoed the sentiment in a tweet, calling it a “hammer blow” for a free press in the country.

“This conviction of the 2 Reuters reporters is a hammer blow against media freedom in #Myanmar, showing just how afraid the #Tatmadaw & #Myanmar government are of investigative journalism and critical commentary customarily found in a real democracy,” the tweet reads.  Read More

 

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