STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Myanmar frees two Reuters journalists jailed for reporting on Rohingya crisis

Supporters believe the pair were punished for investigating a massacre of 10 Rohingya in Myanmar's western Rakhine state in September 2017.

Published: 07th May 2019 08:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th May 2019 12:59 PM   |  A+A-

Myanmar journalists

Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo, left, holds his daughter next to wife Chit Su Win, and Reuters journalist Wa Lone poses with wife Pan Ei Mon and daughter after being released from prison after receiving a presidential pardon in Yangon, Myanmar on Tuesday.

By AFP

YANGON: Two Reuters journalists who had been jailed for their reporting on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar walked out of prison Tuesday, freed in a presidential amnesty.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, were mobbed by media as they stepped out of Yangon's notorious Insein prison after their lengthy detention, videos showed.

"We are enormously pleased that Myanmar has released our courageous reporters," Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said in a statement.

"Since their arrests 511 days ago, they have become symbols of the importance of press freedom around the world. We welcome their return."

The pair have been behind bars since their arrest in December 2017 under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act.

They were convicted of possessing classified documents relating to security operations in Rakhine during a brutal military crackdown against Rohingya Muslims that forced some 740,000 to flee over the border into Bangladesh.

Supporters believe the pair were punished for investigating a massacre of 10 Rohingya in Myanmar's western Rakhine state in September 2017.

The story earned the team the Pulitzer, one of the top honours in journalism.

Myanmar's armed forces insist the brutal campaign in Rakhine was justified as a means to root out Rohingya militants. But soldiers involved in the massacre investigated by Reuters were jailed.

The case against the journalists has become a cause celebre for press freedom.

Prominent rights attorney Amal Clooney joined the legal team, and Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were featured on the cover of TIME magazine.

Rights groups and legal experts say the case against the Reuters reporters was riddled with irregularities.

A whistleblowing police officer testified during their trial that his superior had ordered his team to trap the reporters in a sting -- testimony the judge chose to ignore



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp