Urgent: Myanmar Release Journalists Wa Lone And Kyaw Soe Oo

Two Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been sentenced to 7 years in prison for reporting on the brutal military crackdown in Rakhine State against the Rohingya. Their prosecution appears to be aimed at preventing journalists from independently reporting on military abuses, the situation of the Rohingya minority and religious intolerance.

The two journalists have been detained since 12 December 2017 when they were arrested shortly after being handed official documents by police officers who had invited them to dinner in north Yangon that evening. At the time, the pair had been investigating a brutal military crackdown in northern Rakhine State against the Rohingya minority which forced more than 700,000 people to flee to Bangladesh. The two men were held incommunicado for two weeks, without access to lawyers or family members.

There has been a worrying erosion of press freedom in Myanmar in the last two years, and journalists and other media workers face ongoing restrictions in connection with their work. The operations of independent media outlets have been increasingly undermined, and those who report on sensitive subjects in particular military abuses, the situation of the Rohingya minority and religious intolerance face intimidation and harassment and at times arrest, detention, prosecution and even imprisonment.

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To: Attorney General of Myanmar, Ambassador of Republic of the Union of Myanmar to India

Subject: Urgent: Myanmar Release Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo