Myanmar rejects Reuters journalists’ appeals

Myanmar rejects Reuters journalists’ appeals

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YANGON: A Myanmar court has rejected an appeal by two Reuters reporters convicted of breaking a state secrets act in September.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years in prison in a case widely condemned by other countries and human rights groups.

But in a ruling, Judge Aung Naing called their terms “a suitable punishment”.

The defence did not provide enough evidence they were innocent, he said.

Both were arrested carrying official documents handed to them by police officers.

They maintain their innocence, saying the authorities set them up.

When arrested the two were investigating a mass execution of Rohingyas, hundreds of thousands of whom have been forced to flee destruction and persecution in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar.

Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen J Adler called the court’s rejection “yet another injustice” against the pair.

“Reporting is not a crime, and until Myanmar rights this terrible wrong, the press in Myanmar is not free,” he said in a statement.

The reporters can now appeal to the country’s Supreme Court, which could take about six months.

Both men have been in prison for more than a year.__BBC

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