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MEDIA FREEDOM AND RULE OF LAW IN THREAT AS MYANMAR JUDGE (YE LWIN) JAILS TWO REUTERS JOURNALISTS (KYAW SOE OO AND WA LONE) FOR SEVEN YEARS.

MEDIA FREEDOM AND RULE OF LAW IN THREAT AS MYANMAR JUDGE (YE LWIN) JAILS TWO REUTERS JOURNALISTS (KYAW SOE OO AND WA LONE) FOR SEVEN YEARS.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo (Reuters journalists) were on Monday, 3 September 2018 sentenced to seven years in prison by a court in Yangon (Myanmar).
Ye Lwin (Yangon northern district judge) said that Wa Lone (32 years) and Kyaw Soe Oo (28 years) breached the colonial-era Official Secrets Act when they collected and obtained confidential documents.
The journalists (Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo) had been reporting on the brutal crackdown on the Rohingya in Rakhine (a state in Myanmar) by security forces when they were arrested and charged with violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, punishable by up to 14 years in prison. They pleaded not guilty, saying that they were framed by the police. According to United Nations agencies, over 700,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh to escape the violence targeting them after Rohingya militants attacked and killed security forces.
Viewers Corner News team join international community to condemn this verdict. We are extremely disappointed by Myanmar’s decision to jail Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo (Reuters reporters) for seven years, because it shows that the press freedom and rule of law are threatened in the country (Myanmar). In a democratic system of government, rule of law and freedom of expression are fundamental and where they are threatened, it then means that the government is not practising democracy. The Myanmar’s court verdict against the two Reuters journalists (Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo) shows that the government of Aung San Suu Kyi (Nobel Peace Prize laureate) which took power in 2016 is not practising democracy. Suu Kyi was once a staunch advocate for press freedom and during her long years of house arrest under the former junta, it was foreign correspondents who carried her message to the outside world.
Source: Viewers Corner News.

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