GENEVA (3 September 2018) - UN experts strongly condemned today’s sentencing of two Reuters journalists to seven years imprisonment.
Journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years imprisonment on 3 September by a court in Yangon for breaching a law on state secrets, following their reporting on Rakhine State.
“The sentencing of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo is a dark moment for Myanmar,” said David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Yanghee Lee, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.
“This is yet another clear signal of Myanmar’s distancing from international human rights law. We regret that the court failed to recognise the importance of independent journalism, freedom of expression and the public’s right to know.
“We urge the President to pardon the journalists, and if the case is appealed, for the court to take into account Myanmar’s human rights obligations and order their release,” the experts said.
The Special Rapporteurs previously have expressed their grave concerns, and urged greater press freedom after the journalists’ detention.
*The UN experts: Ms. Yanghee Lee, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmarand Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
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