Reuters Reporters to Face Trial in Myanmar
A judge in Myanmar ruled Monday that two journalists for the Reuters news agency will face trial for allegedly breaking the country's secrecy laws by reporting on the Rohingya crisis. The ruling comes after months of preliminary hearings. Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, are accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. "We are deeply disappointed that the court declined to end this protracted and baseless proceeding against Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. These Reuters journalists were doing their jobs in an independent and impartial way, and there are no facts or evidence to suggest that they've done anything wrong or broken any law," Reuters president and editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said in a statement. The pair has been held in custody since their arrest in December and are accused of being in possession of leaked sensitive material linked to a military crackdown in crisis-hit Rakhine state, home to Myanmar's minority Muslim Rohingya population. "We did not commit any crimes,'' Wa Lone told journalists outside the courtroom after the ruling. "Today's court decision does not mean that we are guilty. We still have the right to a defense." The reporters were meeting with two police officers they said they had never met before in northern Yangon. The men later told relatives that they were handed some papers, then were arrested almost immediately. Their detention has prompted an outcry among international human rights groups. Adler said that Monday's court decision "casts serious doubt on Myanmar's commitment to press freedom and the rule of law." The United Nations expressed concern at the "arrest and continued detention" of the journalists. "The secretary-general has repeatedly urged for the release of the journalists and for the authorities to respect the right to freedom... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Reuters Reporters to Face Trial in Myanmar, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Monday, 9 July, 2018
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