Two journalists arrested for reporting the Rakhine State crisis, face 14-year jail term under the Official Secrets Act

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) asks Myanmar authorities to immediately release the two Reuters journalists, who were detained since 12 December 2017, and drop the charges under the 1923 Official Secrets Act. U Thet Oo Maung (Wa Lone) and Moe Aung (Kyaw Soe Oo) had been reporting the crisis involving the Rohingya when they were arrested in Yangon. Media outlets reported that the police have found in their possession military reports and maps of some areas in Rakhine State.

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[Myanmar] Media in transition and conflict: Challenges for truth and reconciliation

Journalists have been subject to threats and violence from religious extremists. Those that write about national security, anti-corruption, religion, conflict, land rights, illegal logging and wood smuggling, among other subjects face a certain risk. Most cases against journalists were under the penal code such as the defamation act or trespassing act, and Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law. So far, courts are still under the control of the administration. Corruption is still at large in the judiciary.

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