Home / International/ Wives of Reuters reporters jailed in Myanmar call for their release

Wives of Reuters reporters jailed in Myanmar call for their release


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 5 September 2018 00:00


YANGON (Reuters): The wives of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar jailed for seven years on official secrets charges insisted on Tuesday the men were innocent and called for them to be released and reunited with their young families as soon as possible.

A court found the two journalists guilty on Monday in a landmark case seen as a test of progress toward democracy in Myanmar, which was ruled by a military junta until 2011.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28 were investigating the killing of villagers from the Rohingya Muslim minority by security forces and civilians in Rakhine State when they were arrested in December. They had pleaded not guilty.

The two reporters both have young daughters and have not seen their families outside of prison visits and court hearings since they were arrested in December.

Kyaw Soe Oo has a three-year-old daughter, and Wa Lone’s wife, Pan Ei Mon, gave birth to their first child last month.

The wives, alongside Wa Lone’s brother, Thura Aung, and their defence lawyers, spoke to reporters at a news conference in Yangon on Tuesday.

The defence can appeal the conviction, and the lawyers told the news conference they were considering all options.

Kyaw Soe Oo’s wife, Chit Su Win, said she had expected the two reporters to be acquitted on Monday.

“I believed that we would be able to go home together,” she said, adding that later she “almost went crazy.”

“They are innocent. They were doing their jobs as journalists,” Chit Su Win said. She said she feared their daughter, Moe Thin Wai Zan, would be traumatised by the ordeal.

Wa Lone’s wife, Pan Ei Mon, said she wanted the journalists to be released “as quickly as possible.”

“I never thought such a harsh verdict would be handed down,” she said of the seven-year sentence.

“Since I became pregnant, I stayed strong on the hope that Wa Lone would be released. After yesterday’s verdict, if feels like my hopes have been destroyed.”

Pan Ei Mon said she was disappointed that Myanmar’s government leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, had appeared to speak against the reporters ahead of the verdict.

Suu Kyi told Japanese television station NHK in an interview in June that the reporters were not arrested for their reporting on Rakhine, but because they “broke the Official Secrets Act”.

“I am really sad about that...the person who we really admired for our whole lives misunderstood us like that,” Pan Ei Mon said.

Neither Suu Kyi nor her government’s main spokesman have commented publicly on the case since the reporters were convicted.


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

STEAMing STEM – Moving from horoscopes to telescopes!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Walking into an inventors’ exhibition should give one an experience similar to an immersion into the future. The world change with inventions and inventors lead the change. The creativity displayed is an indicator of the creativity of the society f


There is smoke in the eyes of those who do not want to see!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Shyamon Jayasinghe, a former citizen of Sri Lanka, now living in Victoria, Australia, writing to Daily FT in a Guest Column article has given an old college try at the President of Sri Lanka by announcing about a cloaked portentous writing on the wal


Modi celebrates birthday whilst making India strong – Lesson for SL

Thursday, 20 September 2018

The Indian Prime Minister celebrated his birthday earlier this week in the backdrop of India growing at a blistering performance of 7.1%. The January-March quarter saw the highest GDP growth in the last seven quarters with India becoming the sixth la


Maximum Residue Level: Dilemma of agricultural product exporters in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Due to increased emphasis on consumer health, majority of developed countries such as EU, Japan and the US insist on MRL testing of food items which has to be done by the exporter. The Codex Alimentarius Commission which is an inter-governmental bod


Columnists More