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Home / World / Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar after over 500 days were released

Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar after over 500 days were released



The two men were released as part of an amnesty of 6,520 prisoners by President Win Myint of the country.

When he left prison, he thanked the followers for demanding the release of his colleague and colleague.

In prison and around the world, people wanted to release us, so I want to thank you for everything, "he said, adding that he was" really happy – excited – to see my family and colleagues. And I can not wait to go to my newsroom.

  Reuters Reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo react in a vehicle after being released from Insein Prison after receiving a pardon in Yangon, Myanmar, on May 7, 201[ads1]9. REUTERS / Ann Wang

Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler described the two men as "brave reporters" and "symbols of the importance of press freedom throughout the world," adding that both he and the organization "welcomed their return.

In a statement, journalist attorney Amal Clooney said, "I've adopted this case over a year ago and witnessed an incredible determination by Reuters, especially editor-in-chief Steve Adler and chief counsel Gail Gove, in their quest for justice for their brave reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. "

" It's inspiring to see a news organization dedicated to protecting innocent men and the profession of journalism, "she added." It was an honor to represent Reuters and the two journalists in this case and I hope that their release means a renewed commitment to press freedom in Myanmar. "

  Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo celebrate with family members after they have been released from custody.
The trial and subsequent imprisonment of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo became a celebrity around the world, and many people demanded their release Lone's characteristic double thumb, which he accompanied with indefatigable cheerfulness during court appearances, was adopted by many journalists people who took photos to sensitize the case and demand the freedom of their colleagues.
Both men have families with small children. Kyaw Soe Oo has a three-year-old daughter while Wa Lone's daughter was born after his arrest. On Tuesday, the two men were finally reunited with their wives and families in Yangon. In emotional scenes, Wa Lone was portrayed holding his young daughter outside the police custody for the first time.

Free Speech Test

In September 2018, a court sentenced the two Myanmar nationals and sentenced them to seven years in prison. Earlier this year, the Yangon High Court dismissed the appeals, and at the end of April, the country's Supreme Court rejected its last attempt to lift its convictions.

Following this final defeat, the journalist's lawyer said that they must hope for a presidential pardon, which they finally received after years of international pressure this week.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, their lawyers and Reuters have all claimed that the couple has never committed a crime. "They were victims of a police station to silence their truthful reporting," the news agency said in April.

  Wa Lone poses with his wife Pan Ei Mon and his daughter, along with his reporter Kyaw Soe Oo, who carries his daughter next to his wife Chit Su Win.

The men conducted an explosive Reuters investigation that eventually won a Pulitzer Prize from Inn Dinn, part of a military-led campaign against the Muslim minority that began in August 2017 after Rohingya militiamen attacked police.

It is estimated that more than 720,000 Rohingya had to flee violence as a result of the consequence to Bangladesh.

When the military in the mainly Buddhist nation pierced Rakhine State, which allegedly killed with impunity, raped women, and burned living babies, the authorities turned to reporters who wanted to investigate the atrocities.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo say they were set up by a policeman posing as a source. They say the officials invited them to a secret meeting in late 2017 in a restaurant on the outskirts of Yangon and handed them documents.

  Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo (right) waves beside her colleague Wa Lone as they leave Insein prison AFP / Getty Images

Police raided and arrested them with the classified information they held.

The Myanmar government is denying human rights violations by the military in 2017, stating that they are targeting Rohingya militants.

The case was viewed as a litmus test of press freedom and democratic rights in the Southeast Asian country. The imprisonment of the two journalists struck a blow to the media community in Myanmar and sparked growing international criticism of the factual leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

In a statement on Tuesday, Cedric Alviani, head of reporter Without Borders East, said the Asia office said the world should not forget that they had spent more than a year in prison during the liberation of the couple's release. "This is unacceptable because they only did their job as journalists."


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