Select Page

Prosecutors in Myanmar have formally charged two journalists from the Reutersnews agency with violating the Official Secrets Act, signalling the case will go forward despite international condemnation.

Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested on 12 December after police accused them of violating the British colonial-era law by acquiring “important secret papers” from two policemen. The police officers had worked in Rakhine state, where security forces are blamed for rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims that have sparked the exodus of some 650,000 people to Bangladesh.

The two journalists had worked on Reuters coverage of the crisis in Rakhine.

Than Zaw Aung, the lawyer for the journalists, said the prosecutor formally indicted the pair at Wednesday’s hearing. They face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

Than Zaw Aung said he appealed for the two to be immediately released on bail, but the judge said he would review that request and rule at the next hearing on 23 January. “We are still far from the verdict,” he said.

The ministry of information has cited the police as saying they were “arrested for possessing important and secret government documents related to Rakhine state and security forces”.

The ministry said they “illegally acquired information with the intention to share it with foreign media”. Read More …

 

 

Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested on 12 December after police accused them of violating the British colonial-era law by acquiring “important secret papers” from two policemen. The police officers had worked in Rakhine state, where security forces are blamed for rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims that have sparked the exodus of some 650,000 people to Bangladesh. The two journalists had worked on Reuters coverage of the crisis in Rakhine. Than Zaw Aung, the lawyer for the journalists, said the prosecutor formally indicted the pair at Wednesday’s hearing. They face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.