yangon - A judge in Myanmar has sentenced two journalists from Reuters news agency, who have been detained since December last year, to seven years in prison. The two journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, were accused of having obtained secret government documents about troop movements. The time since December 2017 that they are in the cell is deducted from the seven years in prison.
The reporters stated in court that two police officers had handed them the documents in a restaurant in Yangon on 12 December, shortly before they were arrested by other agents.
According to a police official, one of the two journalists was 'trapped' to punish them for reporting on the killings of Rohigyas. At the time of their arrest, the journalists investigated the murder of ten members of the Rohingya minority in Rakhine.
'I did not do anything wrong. I believe in law, democracy and freedom, 'Wa Lone said after the verdict. 'I have no fear. '
The United Nations, the European Union and countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia had urged the government of Myanmar to release the two journalists. 'Today is a sad day for Myanmar, the journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and the press worldwide', said Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen J. Adler.