Reuters Journalists Charged with Obtaining State Secrets by Myanmar Court

Detained Reuters journalist Wa Lone talks to media while being escorted by police as he leaves the court after his trial hearing in Yangon in early July

The case of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo went through several months of hearings to determine if there was enough evidence to support the charge, which the reporters denied. Handcuffed, being led to a police vehicle, he added, "We will not retreat, give up or be shaken by this". "The court did not decide we are guilty", he said.

Reuters says the pair are innocent and were simply doing their job by reporting on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims in September, and has urged the court to dismiss the case.

The European Union, which has sent observers to the Reuters trial in Yangon, renewed calls for the charges against the journalists to be dropped, while the International Commission of Jurists said the prosecution has failed to provided credible evidence of wrongdoing.

The court's decision draws global criticism, with many countries, the United Nations, and press freedom groups calling for the reporters' release.

Zaw Htay, spokesman for the Myanmar government, did not respond to request for comment Monday.

In a statement Monday, Reuters President and Editor-in-Chief Stephen J. Adler called the trial a "protracted and baseless proceeding". Senator John McCain has called for the release of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, saying the charges against the two journalists are "outrageous and politically motivated".

The proceedings enter the trial phase, with the next hearing to be held on July 16.

'The English Patient' wins Golden Man Booker
The judges then winnowed their selections down to the top five, which were voted on by the public. Naipaul, while " Moon Tiger " by British writer Penelope Lively was the 1980s choice.

LA, Brewers balking at Orioles asking price for Machado
Despite being a "rental", Machado will come at a steep price, as the three-time All-Star is hitting.310 with 21 home runs and 60 RBIs.

Samsung planning white Galaxy Tab S4?
MWC will be the launching pad of the next-gen Galaxy S phone which will also be the 10th Anniversary premium Galaxy flagship. The report insists an "entry-level" device will be offered alongside the regular S10 and larger S10 Plus.

The judge said the court had filed charges against the journalists under Section 3.1 (c) of the Act to investigate the prosecution's allegations that they collected and obtained secret documents pertaining to the security forces with the intention to harm national security. Chit Su, wife of Kyaw Soe Oo, said she was "shocked" by the court's decision.

Defense lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said Monday that the defense team would "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst". Matthew Bugher, head of the Asia program for legal advocacy group Article 19, told TIME that the decision to charge the reporters "renders the judiciary complicit in a farcical miscarriage of justice". The journalists, who were nearly immediately arrested by police, have been jailed since this incident. He said documents they had in their hands when they were arrested detailed the movements of security forces, while further documents found on their mobile phones ranged from confidential to top secret. At the time of their arrests, they had been working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys in a village in Rakhine state.

The killings were part of a military operation Myanmar launched past year against the Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority in Myanmar, following a series of attacks by Rohingya rebels on government posts in the region.

As of July, the United Nations said almost 1 million Rohingya reside in Cox's Bazar, a Bangladeshi border town now brimming with run-down, deeply vulnerable migrant camps. Their families say the pair told them they were arrested nearly immediately after being handed documents by the policemen they met for the first time the night of their arrest.

Police Lance Corporal Naing Lin, the officer Moe Yan Naing said was ordered to entrap Wa Lone, tells the court he met the reporters, but denies giving them documents.

After his court appearance, Moe Yan Naing was sentenced to a year in jail for violating police discipline by having spoken to Wa Lone, and his family was evicted from police housing.

Judge U Ye Lwin, who has been presiding over the trial, said the men have been charged for "getting, collecting and transferring secret documents regarding operations of the [Myanmar] police force".

Related News:



Most liked

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin caught making out at a park
The pair were spotted kissing again on a bench in Rockefeller Park in Lower Manhattan later in the evening. As per reports they could not keep their hands off each other and were seen making out in the Big Apple.

Turkey swears in President Erdogan
An adviser to Erdogan later said that the governor's term would remain at five years. Erdogan has prevailed in a dozen local, parliamentary and presidential elections.

Prince Louis's christening: Royals to gather for baptism at St James's Palace
The Carters live in Norfolk county, reportedly near Anmer Hall, which is where the Duke and Duchess have a country home. Guests were enjoyed slices of fruit cake from a tier of William and Kate's eight-tier wedding cake at the swanky do.

Rangers hopeful of signing Umar Sadiq before Europa League clash
When they asked me if I want to join this team or not, I said yes but I thought it might not really be Gerrard!" I truly am excited to be joining Rangers , it is a historical club and I can't wait to play here.

Fossils of 'first giant' dinosaur discovered in Argentina
Fellow co-author Ricardo Martinez believes the Ingenia prima is from "a Late Triassic period, possibly 205 million years" ago. The Triassic period extended from around 250-200 million years ago and the Jurassic from 200-145 million years ago.

Serena Williams battles back to beat Camila Giorgi at Wimbledon
Ostapenko was more efficient, serving her match out at love and converting her first match point with her 14th backhand victor . It may be that today, for the first time , Serena Williams does not manage to intimidate her opponent before a ball is struck.

Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’ Movie Heading Into Production This Fall With Joaquin Phoenix
Leto is still set to play the Joker in the Suicide Squad sequel , as well as a separate standalone movie. The film has been in development for some time, with Phoenix reportedly in talks for months.

Following data scandal fine in UK, Facebook may face penalty in Australia
Facebook also received a minor fine of $164,000 from French regulators for failing to meet the country's data protection rules. Last year, antitrust regulators in the European Union slapped Facebook with a $122 million fine.

Hazard will replace Ronaldo at Real Madrid unless told one thing
Manchester United also like Willian, who worked with Old Trafford chief Jose Mourinho in west London. Sarri has made it clear to the Chelsea leaders that he does not want either of the two to leave.

Listeria death in Victoria linked to strain found in recalled frozen vegetables
The department said everyone should follow the recall advice issued on Monday by Food Safety Australia New Zealand . Customers are being advised not to eat them, and instead return them to the store in exchange for a refund.

Drake takes 7 spots on Billboard Top 10, breaking Beatles' record
All 25 tracks from " Scorpion ", which was released online June 29, managed to climb onto the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The rapper broke his own record of most singles charting in the Hot 100 with 27 - including all 25 tracks from " Scorpion ".

Israel plans first lunar space mission in December
Over the years, additional partners from the private sector, from government companies and from the academia have joined as well. SpaceIL participated in the Google Lunar XPrize competition, which wrapped up earlier this year with no ultimate victor .

USA freezes payments to ACA insurers with sicker patients
The decision could be a big financial hit for some insurers and may lead to higher insurance rates in some cases, critics say. Tell the Republican Congress and administration to quit playing politics with our health.

Four dumped from Love Island after public vote and dramatic recoupling
When Georgia calls Jack over to clarify what happened, he says: "Unintentionally, we kissed on the lips". Where do you possibly begin with her? They [ITV] do have a duty of care, they handle that quite well.

Misfiring Olivier Giroud making unwanted World Cup history for France
His presence on the opposition bench has been described by France striker Olivier Giroud as "bizarre", with the Chelsea man keen to show Henry he has chosen the wrong camp.