Reuters journalists Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were denied today their appeal for the overturn of their 3 September 2018 conviction for violation of the 1923 Official Secrets Act. The Ministry of Information said they “illegally acquired information with the intention to share it with foreign media.”
They were sentenced to a seven-year jail term.
Reuters president and editor in chief Stephen J. Adler, in a statement, has expressed “outrage” on the arrest of its two reporters, describing the move “a blatant attack on press freedom.”
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were reporting on the Rohingya crisis when they were apprehended on 12 December 2017 in Yangon following a meeting with police authorities, who handed them some documents in an apparent attempt to entrap them. They have been in jail for more than a year.
The legal battle of the two journalists has been widely seen as a test of democracy in Myanmar and has sparked global outrage alongside a campaign for their release.
The conviction of the two journalists “signaled a travesty of justice” by the government under the ruling National League for Democracy, which is chaired by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.