The U.S. on Wednesday condemned the Myanmar Supreme Court decision upholding the convictions of two Reuters journalists for violating the country's Official Secrets Act by uncovering the Myanmar military's massacre of Rohingya Muslims.
The U.S. State Department said Tuesday's ruling against Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, "despite serious irregularities in the case against them, sends a profoundly negative signal about freedom of expression and the protection of journalists in Burma," the southeast Asia country's colonial name.
The statement said the U.S. "is deeply concerned by recent arrests of reporters, political activists, civil society members, and satirical performers in Burma. We urge Burma to protect hard-earned freedoms, prevent further backsliding on recent democratic gains, and reunite these journalists with their families."
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were covering the brutal military campaign in Rakhine state that drove nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in August 2017.
They were arrested in December 2017 after meeting with two police officers at a restaurant in Yangon and being given a stack of documents. The pair were investigating the massacre of 10 Rohingya by police and soldiers in the village of Inn Din. They were convicted last September and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Source : VOA