UN Experts, Britain Demand Release of Reuters Reporters in Myanmar

(From Reuters)

Britain’s foreign minister and United Nations human rights rapporteurs separately called on Thursday for the release of two Reuters reporters detained in Myanmar, after a judge rejected a request for their case to be dismissed.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Twitter that Myanmar must show its “commitment to media freedom” while the U.N. special rapporteurs said in a joint statement that the pursuit of the case against Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, gave rise to “grave concern for investigative journalism”.

A Myanmar government spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

A court in Yangon has been holding preliminary hearings since January to decide whether the journalists will be charged for possessing secret government papers under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

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