For Immediate Release
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7413 5566
After hours: +44 7778 472 126
Myanmar: Reuters Journalists Must Be Released
WASHINGTON - The Myanmar authorities must immediately release two journalists from the Reuters news agency who have been arbitrarily detained for investigating military abuses in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Amnesty International said.
The two journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, are due in court tomorrow. They had been investigating the recent military operations in Rakhine State when they were arrested on 12 December 2017.
“Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo must be immediately and unconditionally released. They have done absolutely nothing but carrying out their legitimate work as journalists. This is clearly an attempt by the authorities to silence investigations into military violations and crimes against Rohingya in Rakhine State, and to scare other journalists away from doing the same,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
“These arrests have not happened in a vacuum, but come as authorities are increasingly restricting independent media. Journalists and media outlets, in particular those who report on ‘sensitive topics’, are living with the constant fear of harassment, intimidation or arrest. This clampdown on freedom of speech must end.”
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested in Myanmar, Yangon’s main city on 12 December 2017. They were held incommunicado for two weeks. State officials have confirmed the two are being investigated for breaching Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
This statement can be found online at https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/myanmar-reuters-journalists-must-be-released/
FRIENDS: Help Us Fight
Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder
Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. Our supporters are outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world - so we work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity. We have more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries and regions and we coordinate this support to act for justice on a wide range of issues.