Responding to today’s decision by a Yangon court to formally charge Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, with breaching the country’s Official Secrets Act, Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Director of Crisis Response, said:
“This is a black day for press freedom in Myanmar. The court’s decision to proceed with this farcical, politically motivated case has deeply troubling and far-reaching implications for independent journalism in the country.
“In their investigations of military operations in Rakhine State, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were simply doing what journalists are meant to do – expose the truth and hold the powerful to account. Charging them under this draconian law – even after widespread national and international condemnation – is a clear sign that the authorities are intent on silencing critical voices. It also serves notice to other journalists working in the country that speaking out comes with serious consequences.