Reuters journalists jailed for seven years for violating Myanmar Official Secrets Act; activists condemn sentencing

A Myanmar court has sentenced two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, to seven years in jail for violating the country’s Official Secrets Act. Reuters/Ann Wang.

A Myanmar court sentenced two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, to seven years in jail on Monday for violating the country’s Official Secrets Act. Reuters

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were investigating the killing of villagers from the Rohingya Muslim minority by security forces and civilians when they were arrested in December 2017. They had pleaded not guilty. Reuters/Myat Thu Kyaw.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were investigating the killing of villagers from the Rohingya Muslim minority by security forces and civilians when they were arrested in December 2017. They had pleaded not guilty. Reuters

The reporters said they were arrested after being invited to dinner by police in Yangon who handed them documents. As they left the restaurant, the pair was detained for possessing classified material. Reuters/Myo Kyaw Soe

The reporters said they were arrested after being invited to dinner by police in Yangon who handed them documents. As they left the restaurant, the pair was detained for possessing classified material. Reuters

"I have no fear," 32-year-old Wa Lone said after the verdict. "I have not done anything wrong. I believe in justice, democracy and freedom." Reuters/Ann Wang

Wa Lone gave a defiant thumbs up and after the verdict, said that he has not done anything wrong. He added that he believes in justice, democracy and freedom. Reuters

Civil society groups, activists, and journalists across Myanmar have denounced the conviction as unfair and an assault on the right to freedom of information. Reuters/Ann Wang

The arrests have sparked protests and solidarity marches in Yangon, with civil society groups, activists, and journalists across Myanmar denouncing the conviction as unfair and an assault on the right to freedom of information. Reuters

The arrests have sparked protests and solidarity marches in Yangon, where the two journalists were sentenced.Reuters/Ann Wang

The conviction has also drawn condemnation from the United Nations and many Western governments, including the United States, Britain, and France. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called the trial a "travesty of justice". Reuters

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Updated Date: Feb 14, 2019 15:27:34 IST

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