Two journalists of international news agency Reuters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo – accused of breaching Myanmar‘s state secrets were sentenced to seven years in prison by a Mynamr court on Monday, while reporting on the massacre of Rohingya Muslims.
Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28 — who were arrested last year in December and were lodged in prison since then — were convicted by Yangon northern district judge for violating British-era Official Secrets Act.
Yangon northern district judge Ye Lwin said Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo breached the colonial-era Official Secrets Act when they collected and obtained confidential documents.
The judge said the journalists ‘collected and obtained confidential documents’.
‘The defendants … have breached Official Secrets Act section 3.1.c, and are sentenced to seven years,’ the judge said, adding that the time served since they were detained in December would be taken into account.
The duo can challenge the decision in the regional court and further in the Supreme Court.
The two reporters had pleaded not guilty and told the court that the police planted documents on them in the course of their work in reporting on violence-hit Rakhine state.
They said they were arrested after being invited to dinner by police in Yangon who handed them documents.