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Reuters calls for release of jailed reporters

Reuters filed a petition with the Myanmar Supreme Court on Friday calling for the release of its two imprisoned reporters.

“Our petition asks that the Supreme Court finally provide justice to Wa Lone [photo] and Kyaw Soe Oo, reverse the lower courts’ errors, and order the release of our journalists,” it said in a statement.

The two reporters have been detained since December 2017 when they were arrested for the possession of classified documents. They were found guilty of breaching the country’s Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years in prison last year. An appeal against their conviction filed in November was rejected three weeks ago.

Their trial was criticised widely. Human rights groups and foreign governments accused the Myanmar regime of using the courts to target the two reporters for their reporting on the military-led massacre of the country’s Rohingya Moslems.

Both men stressed their innocence, alleging they were handed classified documents in a police set-up.

Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo “remain behind bars for one reason: those in power sought to silence the truth. Reporting is not a crime, and until Myanmar rights this terrible wrong, the press in Myanmar is not free, and Myanmar’s commitment to rule of law and democracy remains in doubt.” ■