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Home / World / Myanmar: Wives of Reuters journalists voice despair over verdict | News

Myanmar: Wives of Reuters journalists voice despair over verdict | News



Yangon, Myanmar – The families of two Reuters journalists imprisoned in Myanmar after discovering a massacre in Rakhine state were again devastated on Friday when a court rejected the couple's appeal to overturn the their seven prison sentences. [19659002] After the judge waved his sentence in a crowded classroom in downtown Yangon, the wives of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo shed tears as foreign diplomats offered their commiserations

While little he went to reporters as early as their arrest in December 2017, Kyaw Soe Oo's wife, Chit Su Win, was still waiting to hope for today's decision.

"We even hoped to go to jail to welcome them if they were released today, but that's not happening," he told a melee of journalists outside the gates of the Yangon regional court.

None of the men participated in the Friday sentence. Both were unable to see their children for the last month. Wa Lone's detention forced him to lose his daughter's birth in August of last year, while Kyaw Soe Oo was able to see his three-year-old daughter only during court hearings and visits.

A Message to Journalists [1
9659007] The two journalists were sentenced in September under the law on official secrets of the country after being accused of holding confidential documents.

Their nine-month trial was wrongly condemned as a fiction aimed at stifling independent complaints about the large-scale killings of the Rohingya military.

"Journalists have the message that they should avoid these kinds of problems," Myint Kyaw, secretary of the Myanmar Journalists Network, told Al Jazeera.

The army firmly believes that its actions at the end of 2017 were legitimate counterinsurgency operations, but the UN demanded that senior officials be prosecuted for genocide.

Defense lawyer Than Zaw Aung said he would speak with journalists to ask for an appeal to the Supreme Court of Myanmar or not. "We are very disappointed by today's judgment," he said.

In their September appeal, the defense referred to testimony from a police captain who said his colleagues were trapping journalists in a sting, handing over their documents and then arresting them promptly. [19659013] WATCH: Calls for the release of Reuters journalists on the occasion of the anniversary of the arrests (02:26)

But Judge Aung Naing has faithfully tightened the original sentence today before the observers in a & rsquo; classroom from court with spider webs dotted with spider webs and described the couple's prison terms as "appropriate punishment".

In addition to the Supreme Court ruling, the reporter's best hope of being released soon is a grace from President Win Myint, who would take orders from the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. [19659004] Based on previous cases of journalists arrested in the country, said Myint Kyaw, there is the possibility that the couple will receive forgiveness, "but it will take time".

"One day in prison is an" injustice "

Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for the EU for foreign affairs, said:" We are confident that the President of Myanmar will promptly deal with this injustice and together with the government it will assure that the press can fulfill its function as an essential pillar of democracy. "

Many are losing hope that the former icon of democracy Suu Kyi will intervene on behalf of the couple.

Bill Richardson, a US diplomat and former confidant of Suu Kyi, allegedly referred to the two journalists as "traitors" during a heated exchange last year.

Richardson resigned from his position in an international advisory body on Rakhine immediately after the clash.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo report from Rakhine The village of Inn Din last year revealed how soldiers and villagers hacked and killed 10 Rohingya men and boys to death before burying them in a mass grave.

About 7,000 Rohingyas died within the first month of military repression, which began in late August 2017, according to estimates by Médecins Sans Frontières

Journalists were held incommunicado for two weeks later their arrest. Wa Lone later testified that he had been hooded and deprived of sleep during the interrogation days

"One day in prison was already an injustice," said Tirana Hassan, director of Crisis Response of Amnesty International. "This frightful farce must end now."

WATCH: Myanmar – Journalists pay the price for denouncing the genocide | The Listening Post function (26:25)


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