Myanmar Rigs Evidence, Convicts Journalists. They must be released.
Could Myanmar possibly exceed the global scorn it is already under for crimes against humanity and genocide? Yes. The country’s government has detained and framed two Reuters journalists who witnessed their crimes, sentencing them to 7 years in prison.
Myanmar must release Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28.
At their trial on Monday, a cop who gave evidence as a prosecution witness testified that his CO had ordered him to place documents planted in the journalists’s gear. Following his evidence, the officer was jailed for a year for violating police regulations, and his family was ejected from the housing afforded police officer’s families.
We have written about this previously and have watched the case. So too has the UN Secretary General.
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According to our editor, Micheal O’Brien who is a member of Reporters Sans Frontières, “this whole travesty of justice is inculpatory evidence for the International Criminal Court to examine. Myanmar has assailed witnesses the ICC would have an interest in hearing from. Widespread complicity in a crime against humanity has led to many levels of government in Myanmar aiding the generals to cover up their crimes against Rohingya.
“This in turn indicates that the parties knew crimes were being committed but continued their commission.
“It also implies that Myanmar’s leadership abuses the apparatus and institutions of government which might suggest the Military Junta is still in control behind a facade.”
Now it comes down to this: Myanmar must immediately release Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, the two Reuters journalists who were framed by police officers who put non-classified documents into their gear and claimed a secrecy violation. The two journalists have been sentenced to prison for seven years. Why? They were breaking news stories about the state-sponsored murders of Myanmar citizens. The two were witnesses to crimes against humanity.
“Today is a sad day for Myanmar, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and the press everywhere,” Stephen J. Adler, Reuters’ editor-in-chief, said in a statement released yesterday.
“These two admirable reporters have already spent nearly nine months in prison on false charges designed to silence their reporting and intimidate the press. Without any evidence of wrongdoing and in the face of compelling evidence of a police setup, today’s ruling condemns them to the continued loss of their freedom.”