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Myanmar’s verdict against journalists a major step backward: Reuters

“These two admirable reporters have already spent nearly nine months in prison on false charges designed to silence their reporting and intimidate the press,” Reuters editor in chief Stephen J Adler said.

world Updated: Sep 03, 2018 13:29 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Singapore
Myanmar Court,Reuters Journalists,imprisonment of 7 years
The court sentenced the two Reuters journalists Kyaw Soe Oo, left, and Wa Loneto seven years in prison Monday for illegal possession of official documents, a ruling that comes as international criticism mounts over the military's alleged human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims.(AP)

Myanmar’s verdict on Monday jailing two Reuters reporters for seven years on charges of breaching an official secrets act is a major step backward in the southeast Asian nation’s transition to democracy, the agency’s editor-in-chief Stephen J Adler said.

“Today is a sad day for Myanmar, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and the press everywhere,” Adler said in a statement.

“These two admirable reporters have already spent nearly nine months in prison on false charges designed to silence their reporting and intimidate the press.

“Without any evidence of wrongdoing and in the face of compelling evidence of a police set-up, today’s ruling condemns them to the continued loss of their freedom and condones the misconduct of security forces.

“This is a major step backward in Myanmar’s transition to democracy, cannot be squared with the rule of law or freedom of speech, and must be corrected by the Myanmar government as a matter of urgency.

“We will not wait while Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo suffer this injustice and will evaluate how to proceed in the coming days, including whether to seek relief in an international forum.”

First Published: Sep 03, 2018 13:03 IST