Will Myanmar release Reuters' journalists?

Will Myanmar release Reuters' journalists?

Myanmar's Supreme Court was scheduled on Tuesday to hear the appeal of two Reuters journalists imprisoned for breaking a colonial-era official secrets law, in a case that has raised questions about Myanmar's progress towards democracy.

 
Reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have spent more than 15 months in detention since they were arrested in December 2017, while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslim civilians involving Myanmar soldiers.

 
A judge found the two guilty under the Official Secrets Act last September and sentenced them to seven years in prison.
 
Their convictions were heavily criticised by press freedom advocates and Western diplomats, putting additional pressure on Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate who took power in 2016 amid a transition from military rule.

 

Suu Kyi said in September, the week after their conviction, that the reporters' case had nothing to do with press freedom as the men had been jailed for handling official secrets, not because they were journalists.

 
At the Supreme Court in the capital Naypyitaw on Tuesday, a judge will hear arguments for and against their appeal, alongside 17 other cases, according to a listing published on the court's website.

 
The prosecution said the reporters were caught holding secret documents at a routine traffic stop.

 
The high court in Myanmar's largest city Yangon rejected an earlier appeal in January.

 
The source: Euronews

26.03.2019

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