Amal Clooney to defend Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar

Myanmar reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested last December and have been charged under the Official Secrets Act, which could see them jailed up to 14 years.
Amal Clooney attends a security council meeting at UN headquarters during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, on September 21, 2017.(Reuters file photo)
Amal Clooney attends a security council meeting at UN headquarters during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, on September 21, 2017.(Reuters file photo)
Published on Mar 29, 2018 10:13 PM IST
Copy Link
Agence France-Presse, New York | ByAgence France-Presse

British-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, wife of Hollywood A-lister George, announced on Thursday she will represent two Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar in a case that has incensed global opinion.

Myanmar reporters Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested last December and have been charged under the Official Secrets Act, which could see them jailed up to 14 years.

They had been investigating the killing by security forces and ethnic Rakhine locals of 10 unarmed Rohingya Muslim men in the country’s crisis-hit northern Rakhine State.

“Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are being prosecuted simply because they reported the news. I have reviewed the case file and it is clear beyond doubt that the two journalists are innocent and should be released immediately,” Clooney said.

“Yet they have been denied bail and face 14 years in prison. The outcome of this case will tell us a lot about Myanmar’s commitment to the rule of law and freedom of speech.”

Clooney’s involvement will increase the global attention that has surrounded proceedings against the pair, who are being detained in a Yangon prison.

“We will pursue all avenues to secure our reporters’ release. Retaining Ms Clooney greatly strengthens our international legal expertise and allows us to broaden those efforts,” said Gail Gove, chief counsel of Reuters.

Former US president Bill Clinton and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres are among those who have called for the journalists’ release as fears grow about Myanmar’s shrinking press freedoms.

Clooney, an internationally respected lawyer, has also attracted huge celebrity following since her 2014 marriage to American film star George Clooney.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon.

    In dire warning, UN chief says oceans in state of ‘emergency’

    A long-delayed conference on how to restore the faltering health of global oceans kicked off in Lisbon on Monday, with the head of the UN saying the world's seas are in crisis. "Today we face what I would call an ocean emergency," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told thousands of policymakers, experts and advocates at the opening plenary, describing how seas have been hammered by climate change and pollution. Humanity depends on healthy oceans.

  • An aerial view shows the damage to the roof of adjacent buildings after a tornado ripped through the southwestern seaside city of Zierikzee.

    Rare tornado kills one in Netherlands

    A tornado ripped through a southwestern Dutch city on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring seven others in the first fatal twister to hit the country for three decades. The whirlwind left a trail of destruction through the seaside city of Zierikzee, blowing the roofs off homes and toppling trees onto cars, an AFP journalist at the scene said.

  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky (on screen) addresses G7 leaders and representatives of the European Union during their working session at Elmau Castle, Germany, on Monday.

    ‘As long as it takes’: G7 backs Ukraine

    The Group of Seven nations on Monday vowed to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes”, promising to tighten the squeeze on Russia's finances with new sanctions that include a proposal to cap the price of Russian oil. The G7 countries said they had also pledged or were ready to grant up to $29.5 billion for Ukraine. “It's useless to hope for decency and humanity from Russia,” Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Telegram.

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) during a meeting with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, in Schloss Elmau, Germany on Monday. (ANI)

    India-Canada ties: Modi, Trudeau hold talks at G7 summit

    India Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first in-person bilateral meeting with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau in over four years in Germany on Monday. A tweet from India's prime minister's office noted the two leaders “took stock of India-Canada friendship and discussed ways to further strengthen it across various sectors”. This was the first time they held such discussions sitting across from each other since Trudeau visited India in February 2018.

  • Smoke rises from a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on Monday. (REUTERS)

    G7 countries plan to impose ‘price caps’ on Russia’s oil exports

    In a move that may have an impact on the terms of the growing Russia-India energy partnership - India has enhanced import of Russian energy since the war in Ukraine began as energy prices spiral - the G7 countries are considering imposing “price caps” on Russia's oil to dilute revenue inflows to Moscow. The West has alleged that these inflows are helping Russian President Vladimir Putin finance the war in Ukraine.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, June 28, 2022