A court at Myanmar imprisoned two journalist from a news agency for 7 years as both the journalist were accused for spreading the secrecy of Myanmar’s private media law. However, the decision is attracting worldwide condemnation as the journalist community said that it is a ‘big blow to democracy’.
Myanmar native Wa Lone, 32 and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28 has been accused for violating the official secret media law by reporting the incident of brutal behaviour by the Myanmar army on the Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state.
About 7,00,000 lakh Rohingya Muslims were shifted from their native homes to other countries and widespread illegal treatment were done on them that includes even Rape, murder and arson by the Myanmar army.
Both Wa Lone and Soe Oo denied their charges and said that they were just doing their job by reporting the killing of the 10 Rohingya Muslims in September last year. They were soon after detained by the Myanmar police on December 12, 2017.
Wa lone has defended the accusation on him by saying in court that he has not violated any Myanmar’s media law. He said, “The documents found in my hands were given by Police Lance Corpel Naing Lin to set up and arrest us”.
The move by the Myanmar’s court has moved reporters from all over the world highlighting the fact that the imprisoned of the both Wa lone and Soe Oo is a big blow to democracy.
European Union said that the arrest order by the Myanmar’s court undermines the freedom the media and intimidates other journalists from doing their jobs.
They said, “Today’s court decision to sentence Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Soe Oo to 7 years of imprisoned undermines the freedom of the media, the public’s right to information and the development of the rule of law in Myanmar”.
Journalists from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers call for an immediate review of the verdict and want the release of their colleagues. They said that Myanmar has to go a long way before they could claim for the freedom of the press.