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FCC Hong Kong reiterates call for immediate release of Reuters journalists on trial in Myanmar

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong again calls for the immediate release of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Myanmar journalists with the Reuters news agency who had been investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men who were buried in a mass grave.

Reuters journalists Wa Lone (L) and Kyaw Soe Oo, who are based in Myanmar, pose for a picture at the Reuters office in Yangon, Myanmar December 11, 2017. Picture taken December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Antoni Slodkowski
Reuters journalists Wa Lone (L) and Kyaw Soe Oo, who are based in Myanmar, pose for a picture at the Reuters office in Yangon, Myanmar December 11, 2017. Picture taken December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Antoni Slodkowski

The pair, charged last week with breaching the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, were in court testifying this week. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. Over the past six months, the FCC Hong Kong and other press organisations have repeatedly called for the charges to be dropped and for the two men to return home to their families. They were engaged in normal reporting activities and had not committed any wrongdoing.

Once again, we call on Aung San Suu Kyi and her civilian government to act to defend press freedom as the country undertakes its transition to democracy. Her government has an opportunity to show that it respects the beneficial role of a free and independent media, and will ensure that journalists are able to work without threat of retaliation.

With a verdict now possibly weeks away, it is also vital that everyone who believes in press freedom denounces efforts to silence journalists, in Myanmar and elsewhere around the globe. One easy place to start is by signing a petition for their release: goo.gl/1kPTwX

#FreeWaLoneKyawSoeOo




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