Court: Reuters reporters to face Myanmar trial for 'breach' of secrecy act
11 July, 2018, 12:49 | Author: Myra Gill
A judge in Myanmar ruled on Monday the prosecution of two Reuters journalists charged with illegally possessing official information can go to a full trial. The two will now go to trial in what has been a closely-watched test of press freedoms in the country, drawing condemnation from foreign governments and press watchdogs.
GOP Senator John McCain, of Arizona, has called for the release of two journalists held in Myanmar, saying the charges against them are "outrageous and politically motivated". Reuters subsequently published an in-depth story on the massacre, which drew on the reporting of Ko Wa Lone and Ko Kyaw Soe Oo. It could be months before a ruling is reached on their guilt and whether they will be sentenced, and for how long. Both the Reuters journalists have said that they plead not guilty since they were simply journalists, and were not intent on damaging government interests, just telling the truth.
All have called for the case to be dropped and the journalists to be returned to their families. They had been reporting on the violence in Rakhine State in regards to the violence against the Rohingya.
Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay did not answer calls seeking comment after the court ruling on Monday.
The defense lawyer said that he was "dissatisfied" with the court's decision but still hoped to win the case.
Stephen Adler, Reuters' president and editor-in chief, said in a statement: "We are deeply disappointed that the court declined to end this protracted and baseless proceeding against Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo".
The court's decision draws worldwide criticism, with many countries, the United Nations, and press freedom groups calling for the reporters' release.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were invited to a restaurant by police officers in Yangon, where they were handed papers that allegedly linked Myanmar forces to the Rohingyakillings.
At the time of their arrest in December, the reporters had been working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys in a village in western Myanmar's Rakhine State. They said the journalists were arrested in a police sting operation that was aimed at interfering with their reporting.
Detained Myanmar journalist Wa Lone (L) speaks to reporters as he is escorted by police from a courthouse following his ongoing pre-trial hearing in Yangon on July 9, 2018. After giving his surprise testimony, he was jailed for violating the Police Disciplinary Act and his family was forced to vacate their police housing unit.
"This is a black day for press freedom in Myanmar", Tirana Hassan of Amnesty International said Monday.
The EU said the court's decision "threatens fundamental freedoms, a free media and the public's right to information in Myanmar".
According to Lee, it is clear that the Myanmar government has made no progress or shown any real will to dismantle the system of discrimination in the country's laws, policies and practices, and to make northern Rakhine safe for the Rohingya refugees to return in near future.
"Although we are charged, we are not guilty", he said, in handcuffs, as officials ushered him into a police truck.
As the judge made his ruling, family and friends of the pair looked nearly resigned to the news, having watched their loved ones shuttling back and forth, handcuffed and flanked by police officers, for nearly seven months. Among the throng of people was Kyaw Soe Oo's young daughter who waited hopefully for her father to arrive.
Wa Lone has become known for his resilience and optimism during the course of the proceedings, photographed with a signature two thumbs up gesture flashed to cameras and reporters as he enters the Yangon court.
The 4.7m beast was found in a trap downstream from the northern outback town of Katherine after first being spotted in 2010. Though it's record-breaking for the area, elsewhere in the wild, saltwater crocodiles can be much larger.
It has been confirmed that, if you have a silly-strong machine, you'll be able to play Monster Hunter World at 4K, 60fps. Monster Hunter: World for PC will be released earlier than expected, as it was initially pegged for a fall launch.
Earlier the PCB had tweeted that it will issue a charge sheet to the opener after Shehzad tested positive for a banned substance. In fact, the right-handed batsman Ahmed Shehzad was the leading run-getter with 372 runs while playing for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
With his Baltimore Orioles sitting at a league-worst 24-64, Machado will nearly certainly be on the move in the coming weeks. Despite the team's struggles Machado has had a very productive season, slashing.310/.381/.560 with 21 home runs and 59 RBIs.
The boys set out to explore the vast Tham Luang cave, which is known in the area as off-limits, after soccer practice on June 23. An ambulance leaves from Tham Luang cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai , Thailand on July 9, 2018.
According to executives, Drake could easily command a per-album advance of $15 million to $20 million if he signs to a major. That brings Drake to a career total of 31 top 10 songs, passing Michael Jackson's previous record for male solo artists.
I'm leaving but this shirt, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am. Ronaldo led Portugal to its first major title at the European Championship two years ago in France.
Support for more issuers is coming soon - Eventbrite, Singapore Airlines, and Vueling have been name-dropped in the announcement. And finally, Google has updated the Google Pay web experience to both sync transactions and give you control over everything.
Thai cave rescue: All 12 boys and their coach rescued
He added that all of them were generally healthy and in good spirits, thanks to their "high immunity " from playing football. Rescuers worked in three stages, rescuing the first group of four boys in a total of nine hours on Sunday.
Royals served a 7-year-old cake at Prince Louis' christening
The Duchess of Cambridge appeared to make a special gesture to involve her tragic mother-in-law in her grandson's christening. There they would be joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex along with other guests.
Mobile phone warning road signs 'a UK first'
Using your phone while driving in the UK? The first of three £6,000 electronic signs was yesterday introduced in Norwich, Norfolk. Norfolk roads policing Inspector Jonathan Chapman said the scheme is "welcomed".
Amy Adams inspired by Reese Witherspoon
One, he believes the murders are connected; and two, he senses that Camille isn't facing her past. This is a soundtrack you will most definitely want to download after watching.
Honor just teased new Note 10 to take on Samsung's Note 9
The tip also claimed that the Beyond 0 would have a side fingerprint scanner, whereas the 1 and 2 would have FOD functionality. Either way, it's safe to assume that we can expect improved performance from whatever chipset ends up being used.