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Newspaper Reuters Reporter Watch to 100 Day in Myanmar Prison | World Newspaper
In Myannmar, two Reuters reporters who were imprisoned for their coverage of the Rohingya violent propaganda drive have now been in jail for 100 working hours. Walt Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were detained in December while examining how the Myanmar army plundered and burnt a Rohingya community, killing 10 men and then burying the corpses in a collective funer.
They have been charged with holding classified federal documents and have been detained under the Collonial Secrecy Act, which provides for a 14-year sentence. On Wednesday her eleventh performance in the courtroom was a mark of the lengthy pretrial, in which only about half of the 25 mentioned testimonies have so far taken the witness position.
Reuters' examination by the couple revealed that the Myanmar Army and the Myanmar Tao Buddhists in a small town in the state of Rehkine had chopped or killed 10 Muslim men. This was part of a violent Myanmar army repression that began in August and took more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims across the frontier to Bangladesh, where they live in temporary shelters.
A recent fact-finding missions has confirmed that there is proof of rape by gangs, acts of sex abuse against trafficked persons and the murder of infants and orphans. Myanmar's army and the Myanmar administration have resolutely rejected allegations of ethnical cleansing, despite the participation of military-approved troops in the killings following the publication of Reuters reporters' results.
The arrest of a number of reporters has been widely condemned internationally, and Boris Johnson, the UK Minister for External Relations, is said to have addressed this question at his meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi last months. On December 12, Waelone and Kyaw Soe Oo were detained after being asked to a Yangon diner by two policemen they had never seen before and after handing over some paperwork.
Proofs presented in the courts against Wa Loe and Kyaw Soe Oo have revealed discrepancies in the bank account of the arrested policemen. A policeman said to the tribunal that he had kindled the unfounded notices he had made during his meetings with the reporters, another confessed that he was not aware of the arrests, and the statement on Wednesday disagreed with the claim of the cops that they had issued an arrestment order when they searched Wa Lone's home after he was arrested and took his notebook and harddisk.
Stephen J. Adler, Reuters' Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, said the two were "arrested for their work as reporters only". Verena Hölzl, a Myanmar-based journalist from Germany, however, reported another inmate in the same prison in Yangon. Lawsuit will be resumed on 28 March.