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Journalists in Myanmar also in appeal sentenced to seven years in prison for ‘breach state secrets’

Two Burmese reporters from the Canadian-British news agency Reuters on Friday in an appeal re-sentenced to seven years in prison for ” violation of state secrets’. The duo had done research into the slaughtering of Rohingya moslimminderheid in Myanmar.

The 32-year-old Wa Lone and the 28-year-old Kyaw Soe Oo were in september sentenced to seven years in prison. They received that punishment because they are in their coverage of the murder of ten Rohingya muslims infringements would have been committing against the law on the state secrets, a law from the colonial time comes. They could include documents about the military repression against the Rohingya in the western state of Rakhine.

The journalists plead innocent and Reuters talks about the ‘obvious set up game’ of the police, but in the appeal was the judgment now confirmed. According to the court, it was “clear” that the two secret documents had used. ‘The verdict in first instance was not wrong and was in accordance with the applicable laws. We have therefore decided to dismiss the appeal, ” said judge Aung Naing in a courtroom packed with journalists and diplomats.

The lawyer of the duo, Than Zaw Aung, showed that he is very disappointed: “This is not only disappointing for these two journalists but for the entire justice here.’ The defense of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo can now still appeal to the Supreme court.

International outrage

The first judgment led, in september, to international outrage, and this confirmation of that judgment can the already palpable tension between the international community and Myanmar still boost.

British Foreign minister Jeremy Hunt had already understood that the Uk ‘extremely concerned’ about the state of affairs. He called regeringsleidster Aung San Suu Kyi on itself to examine whether everything is correct has expired. The EU ambassador to Myanmar, Kristian Schmidt, called for the immediate and unconditional release of the two. “We have from the beginning clearly said that they are not guilty of treason.’

According to Reuters, the two in the cell due to one reason: “The powers that be want the truth to be silenced.’

The predominantly buddhist Myanmar and are regeringsleidster Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991, winner of the Nobel Peace prize and once imprisoned as a political prisoner – all for quite some time, international criticism process because of the repression of the Rohingya. Already more than 700,000 members of the moslimminderheid are therefore fled to neighboring Bangladesh. The United Nations condemned the violence as ethnic cleansing.

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