Myanmar frees Reuters journalists

Two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who had been convicted in Myanmar for breaking the Official Secrets Act were released from prison on Tuesday after more than 500 days behind bars.

Before their arrest in December 2017, the journalists had been working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and Buddhist civilians in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state during an army crackdown that began in August 2017.  

Sentenced to seven years in jail, they were released under a presidential amnesty for 6520 prisoners. Government Spokesman Zaw Htay told the media that the decision to release the two was made after the families wrote to the State Counsellor of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi. Reuters has said the two men did not commit any crime and had called for their release.

The UN in Myanmar said it saw the release as a sign of the government’s commitment to the transition to democracy.