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UK calls for 'immediate' release of two Reuters reporters in Myanmar

UK minister for Asia and the Pacific says the reporters exposed rights violations in Rakhine state, and he has consistently called for their release.

Published: 03rd September 2018 08:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2018 09:54 PM   |  A+A-

Reuters journalist Wa Lone, center, thumbs up as he is escorted by police upon arrival at the court for trial in Yangon, Myanmar Friday, April 20, 2018. | AP

Reuters journalist Wa Lone, center, thumbs up as he is escorted by police upon arrival at the court for trial in Yangon, Myanmar. (File | AP)

By PTI

LONDON: Britain called for the "immediate" release of two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar today, saying the verdict had "undermined freedom of the media".

"We are extremely disappointed with this verdict and sentencing and we call for the journalists to be released immediately," said a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May.

ALSO READ: Press freedom group urges Aung San Suu Kyi to free Reuters reporters

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, are accused of breaching Myanmar's state secrets law while reporting on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims and were jailed for seven years, fuelling international outrage.

Mark Field, Britain's Minister for Asia and the Pacific, "said he was "extremely disappointed" by the verdict, calling it a "bad day" for Myanmar.

"They provided valuable reporting on abhorrent human rights violations in Rakhine state, and I have consistently called for their immediate release, including directly with the Burmese government," he said in a statement.

"Journalists must be free to carry out their jobs without fear or intimidation," he added.

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