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24 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Top Myanmar court rejects appeal of Reuters journos

AFP, Naypyidaw

Myanmar's Supreme Court rejected the latest appeal yesterday by two Pulitzer-prize winning Reuters journalists who were jailed for seven years on charges linked to their reporting on the Rohingya crisis, as hopes now turn to a presidential pardon. Reporters Wa Lone, 33,

and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, have been behind bars since their arrest in December 2017 under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act.They were convicted of possessing classified documents relating to security operations in Rakhine during a brutal military crackdown against Rohingya Muslims that forced some 740,000 to flee over the border into Bangladesh. The initial ruling in September was upheld by the Yangon High Court in January. On Tuesday, the reporters were not at the Supreme Court in the capital Naypyidaw to hear the ruling

that once again went against them. Under Myanmar’s judicial system, the Reuters journalists could take their appeal back to the Supreme Court judges twice more, but it is unclear whether they will try this option or if they will pin all their hopes on a pardon.

“Our appeal was rejected,” Khin Maung Zaw told AFP. “They upheld the ruling of the lower court.” He added that the reporters had indicated they did not want to continue with the legal process but a final decision had not yet been made. Both of the journalists’ wives were at the Supreme Court for the ruling and spoke side-by-side to reporters afterwards. “I’m very upset by the Supreme Court’s decision,” said Chit Su Win, wife of Kyaw Soe Oo, visibly fighting back tears.

Supporters believe the pair were punished for investigating a massacre of 10 Rohingya in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state in September 2017. The story earned the team the Pulitzer, one of the top honours in journalism. Myanmar’s armed forces insist the brutal campaign in Rakhine was justified as a means to root out Rohingya militants. But soldiers involved in the massacre investigated by Reuters were jailed.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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