Myanmar judge sentences Reuters journalists to 7 years in prison

download (11)Source: The Washington Post

 A Myanmar judge on Monday found two Reuters journalists guilty of violating a colonial-era secrets law and sentenced them to seven years in prison after a months-long trial that was widely seen as farcical and a severe blow for press freedom in the country.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were detained in December in what has been described by defense attorneys and press watchdogs as a case of entrapment.

They were charged with a violation of the Official Secrets Act, a colonial-era law that the watchdogs say has been used to muzzle independent reporting and carries a maximum of 14 years in prison. At the time of their arrest, the two were reporting on the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys in a village in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

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