Trearn | Myanmar court files secrets act charges against Reuters reporters

Myanmar court files secrets act charges against Reuters reporters


YANGON (Reuters) - A court in Myanmar on Monday charged two jailed Reuters journalists with obtaining secret state documents, moving the landmark press freedom case into its trial stage after six months of preliminary hearings. Yangon district judge Ye Lwin charged reporters Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, with breaching the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. Both journalists pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, telling the judge they had “followed journalistic ethics.” RELATED COVERAGE EU calls on Myanmar to release Reuters reporters EU calls on Myanmar to release Reuters reporters Factbox: International reaction to charges against Reuters reporters in Myanmar Factbox: International reaction to charges against Reuters reporters in Myanmar Timeline: Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar Timeline: Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar Speaking to reporters after the ruling, Wa Lone said he and Kyaw Soe Oo had committed no crime and would testify to their innocence in court. “Although we are charged, we are not guilty,” he said, in handcuffs, as officials ushered him into a police truck. “We will not retreat, give up or be shaken by this.” (Follow latest updates on detained reporters here) Chief prosecutor Kyaw Min Aung left the courthouse before reporters were able to ask him questions. SPONSORED The case has attracted global attention. Some Western diplomats and rights groups say it is a test of progress towards full democracy under the administration of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in a country where the military still wields considerable influence. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the decision was a “major setback” for press freedom in Myanmar. “A free press is fundamental to democracy. Journalists not only keep citizens informed but they hold leaders accountable,” Haley said in a statement. “We call on the Burmese government to allow these jo




196 | 2018-07-10 | World | American Samoa | Click for source

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