YANGON (Reuters) – A Reuters reporter on trial in Myanmar said the police questioning after he and a colleague were arrested in December centered on their reporting of a massacre of Rohingya Muslims, not on secret state documents they are accused of obtaining.
Wa Lone, 32, also said the police deprived him and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, of sleep for more than two days, and placed black hoods over their heads while transporting them to a secret detention site where they were held incommunicado for two weeks.
In hours of testimony, delivered over two days before a court in Yangon, Wa Lone also described what he called the police “trap” to arrest him. His account was the most comprehensive challenge heard so far to the prosecution’s accusation that the two journalists were detained at a routine traffic stop and found to be holding secret documents from an unknown source.
“During the whole interrogation, they didn’t ask with interest about the secret documents found on us, but they probed our reporting of Maungdaw, Rakhine,” Wa Lone told the court. “I hadn’t slept for many hours but they kept interrogating me. I was exhausted.”