Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar over secrets act

Journalist Wa Lone is escorted by police after being sentenced by a court to jail in Myanmar

In his hour-long judgement, Yangon Northern District Court judge U Ye Lwin said the two reporters, who work for the Reuters news agency, had not followed "journalism ethics" and that journalists in Myanmar are duty-bound to respect state secrets.

Myanmar has been accused by United Nations investigators of. The defence can appeal the decision to a regional court and then the supreme court.

"The culprits meant to harm the interests of the state".

"We are extremely disappointed by this verdict", Britain and the U.S. have said, saying the court's decision was "deeply troubling for everybody who has struggled so hard here for media freedom". "These sentences mark a new low for press freedom and further backsliding on rights under Aung San Suu Kyi's government".

The journalists had been working on stories about military persecution of Rohingya Muslims, which has caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

"Today is a sad day for Myanmar, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and the press everywhere. They can not make us weak", said Wa Lone ahead of the verdict.

The reporters were arrested on December 12 after being invited to meet with police officials at a restaurant in Yangon, where they were handed rolled-up papers allegedly linked to the security force operations in Rakhine State. "I believe in justice, democracy and freedom".

The ruling "sends a stark warning to other journalists in the country of the severe consequences that await should they look too closely at military abuses", Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International's director of crisis response, said in a statement.

Journalist Kyaw Soe Oo is escorted from the court after being sentenced
Journalist Kyaw Soe Oo is escorted from the court after being sentenced

The claims were undercut by a police witness who said his superior had ordered a set-up and by arguments that the allegedly secret documents had been published in state media. Documents in their possession and on their phones were "not public information", he said.

The UN in Myanmar and the European Union joined the growing chorus of calls for the reporters' release.

Kyaw Soe Oo's wife, Chit Su Win, burst into tears after the verdict, and family members had to support her as she left the court.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were both made to stand handcuffed throughout the judgement, flanked by police officers.

The Reuters case has attracted more global attention than previous cases, partly because it involves a foreign news agency, but also given the nature of their reporting: atrocities committed against the Rohingyas, which has received worldwide attention.

"The judge has appeared to have ignored evidence and to have ignored Myanmar law".

The case has drawn worldwide condemnation as an attempt by Myanmar authorities to muzzle reporting on last year's crackdown by security forces on the Rohingya minority.

Adler said the judge's ruling was "a major step backward in Myanmar's transition to democracy, [and] can not be squared with the rule of law or freedom of speech".

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Klopp Unfazed By Alisson’s Error In Liverpool Win Vs Leicester City
Sep 03, 2018 - 23:13
The 24-year-old Brazilian is yet to appear in a competitive game for the Reds following his transfer from Monaco back in May. Leicester boss Claude Puel was non-committal about whether they had targeted Alisson's tendency to dally on the ball.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hurricane watch issued for Alabama Gulf Coast
Sep 03, 2018 - 23:03
The National Hurricane Center predicts that Tropical Storm Gordon will form off the coast of Southwest Florida on Monday. In addition to wind and storm surge, Gordon could drop as much as 6 inches of rain across Louisiana and Mississippi.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Jose Mourinho: Ronaldo To Manchester United Was Never An Option
Sep 03, 2018 - 22:43
My idea is to remain here at Barcelona , my kids have their friends and school, we are thinking about that more than anything".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump threatens to leave Canada out of new NAFTA deal
Sep 03, 2018 - 22:14
Despite missing Friday's deadline, U.S. "But the reality is, Democrats support working people more than Republicans". Congress must approve any rewrite of the deal, and could refuse to endorse an agreement that excludes Canada.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Gladys Knight Reveals She Suffered From Breast Cancer
Sep 03, 2018 - 21:48
Wilson, her entertainment attorney, says she would not have wanted to see her finances publicly aired: "She was a private person". For African American women in particular, she was a role model and a benchmark for success, feminism and empowerment.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Del Mar racetrack shooting: Gunfire heard at prestigious California racetrack
Sep 03, 2018 - 21:25
At 7:22 p.m., Del Mar Racetrack tweeted that the incident had been contained and that the concert was taking place as planned. The announcer who is calling the race is heard saying, " There's gunfire at the track! ".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mourinho is still the right man to lead Manchester United: Ryan Giggs
Sep 02, 2018 - 12:34
For now, Mourinho retains the support of the United hierarchy despite the Reds losing two of their three Premier League games. Manchester United's Jose Mourinho leaves the pitch during a 3-0 loss to Tottenham at Old Trafford.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Former Vice President Biden salutes McCain as 'a brother'
Sep 02, 2018 - 10:56
Sinatra's My Way paid tribute to a politician who was known for following his own path based on his personal principles. But what made Senator McCain so special was he cared about the substance of my heart rather than where I came from".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Timeline: Key dates in the history of the Trans Mountain pipeline
Sep 02, 2018 - 09:29
Executive Director of the Georgia Strait Alliance Christianne Wilhelmson says the Trudeau Liberals have been shamed. January 17, 2018: Kinder Morgan Canada warns the Trans Mountain expansion project could be a year behind schedule.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tropical development possible in Atlantic over Labor Day weekend
Sep 02, 2018 - 09:28
The storm has gained a little more strength and is expected to move into the Central Pacific Basin (crossing 140 W) later today. Tropical Storm IdaSeptember 18, 2015 - Tropical Storm Ida forms.September 24, 2015 - Weakens to a tropical depression.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Serena Williams' catsuit set to be consigned to the closet
Sep 02, 2018 - 00:07
I even accept as true with to raise a further two hours in transit that I'm no longer going to ogle her."A six-time U.S.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Coca-Cola to buy UK’s Costa Coffee chain for $5.1 billion
Aug 31, 2018 - 22:28
Doing so, Whitbread said, would "provide headroom" to further expand the Premier Inn budget hotel chain in Britain and Germany. Premier Inn has 785 hotels in the United Kingdom and a sprinkling of others in Germany and the Middle East.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Detroit readies for Aretha Franklin tribute concert
Aug 31, 2018 - 18:34
Herman Phillips, another fan who spent time at the viewing Wednesday, shared his own personal connection to Franklin. Ann Fortson, 63, said: "She was a symbol for us".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Apple Watch Series 4 Leaks: Larger Display, Thinner Body and More
Aug 30, 2018 - 22:39
Shared by 9to5Mac, the image shows two iPhones that look similar to the current iPhone X , but with gold outer edges. Reports suggest Apple wants to diversify the iPhone lineup by offering more sizes, colors, and price points.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Team India Star Match Winner hit by Injury ahead of 4th Test
Aug 30, 2018 - 21:56
It's all very well mugging India at Lord's when it's damp and dark, but putting them in at Trent Bridge was a daft mistake. Even Moeen, who showed restraint, undid his good work with a wild sweep that resulted in a top edge off Ashwin.