Two Reuters journalists lose appeal against 7-year sentence in Myanmar

Prosecution witness police captain Moe Yan Naing walks outside the court room during a hearing of detained Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo in Yangon. (File-Reuters)

Two Reuters journalists jailed for seven years for breaching Myanmar's Official Secrets Act while reporting on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims lost an appeal against their conviction on Friday.

"The verdict originally given was not wrong according to the law. The court decides to dismiss the appeal," Aung Naing, the judge of Yangon Regional High Court said.

Earlier last month, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the two journalists jailed in Myanmar on charges of breaking the country’s Official Secrets Act were innocent and that Britain had serious concerns about due process in the case.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were found guilty in September after a trial at a Yangon district court in a case that has raised questions about Myanmar’s progress towards democracy and triggered an outcry from diplomats and human rights advocates.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said in September that the jailing of the reporters had nothing to do with freedom of expression. She said they were not jailed because they were journalists.

The Reuters reporters, who pleaded not guilty, said they were handed papers by police shortly before they were detained, and a police witness testified that they had been set up.

They had been investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya men and boys as part of a military response to insurgent attacks.

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Last Update: 06:54 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54
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