Myanmar court extends detention for 2 Reuters reporters

2017-12-27 13:54
This combination of satellite images provided by the Human Rights Watch/Digital Globe show four villages in Maungdaw township, northern Rakhine state, Myanmar, on November 25 (top) and December 2 (bottom). (Human Rights Watch, Digital Globe via AP)

This combination of satellite images provided by the Human Rights Watch/Digital Globe show four villages in Maungdaw township, northern Rakhine state, Myanmar, on November 25 (top) and December 2 (bottom). (Human Rights Watch, Digital Globe via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bangkok - A court in Myanmar extended the detention of two Reuters journalists on Wednesday and set their trial date for January 14 on charges of violating state secrets.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested on December 12 for acquiring "important secret papers" from two policemen.

The police officers had worked in Rakhine state, where abuses widely blamed on the military have driven more than 630 000 Rohingya Muslims to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh.

The charges are punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

"We are just working as journalists. ... We never violate journalism ethics," Wa Lone told reporters as he and his colleague were led out of a police van into the courtroom in Mingalardon, on the outskirts of Yangon.

Release call

Their families wept as they got a chance to see them for the first time since their arrests.

"I want my husband to be free soon. And I trust him that he would never violate the law," said Wa Lone's wife, Pan Ei Mon.

US, UN and EU officials are among others calling for their release.

Dozens of Myanmar journalists appeared at the court wearing black shirts as part of a protest against the journalists' arrests.

"We are facing the same kind of harassment under the civilian government as we did under the military government," said Thar Lun Zaung Htet, head of a local pressure group for press freedom.

"It is not fair for the two journalists to be charged under the official secrets act because they were doing their job as journalists who tried to get information."

On Tuesday, authorities said they would drop charges against two Singaporean reporters and their local staff working for the Turkish state broadcaster TRT.

They were arrested on October 27 for allegedly flying a drone over the parliament building without permission.

Their lawyer said a decision will be made on Thursday.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    myanmar

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.