09/03/2018, 10.27
MYANMAR
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Two journalists jailed for seven years for investigating Rohingya massacre

Wa Lone (32) and Kyaw Soe Oo (28) worked for the British news agency Reuters. The two reporters (photo) investigated the killing of 10 Rohingya in the village of Inn Din. They were ambushed by police. Despite the condemnation of the international community, the army denies having perpetrated abuses against the Islamic minority in Rakhine.

Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The North Yangon District Court has sentenced two Burmese journalists to seven years in prison for "having collected and obtained confidential documents" concerning the massacre of some Rohingya Muslims in the State of Rakhine. The defendants violated a law on state secrets dating back to the colonial period and risked a maximum sentence of 14 years.

At the time of their arrest on December 12th, Wa Lone (32) and Kyaw Soe Oo (28) worked for the British news agency Reuters. The police arrested the two reporters as they met with some agents in a restaurant in Yangon. The journalists say they were duped and told the judge U Ye Lwin that two policemen had handed them the documents just before other colleagues arrested them.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya in the village of Inn Din, which occurred during the military operations of the Tatmadaw (the Burmese army) that followed the outbreak of the latest sectarian violence in Rakhine. Despite the condemnation of the international community, the army denies having perpetrated abuses against the Islamic minority.

However, the final report of a UN investigative mission calls on the Security Council to postpone Myanmar's position to the International Criminal Court in The Hague or to create an ad hoc international criminal court. The fact-finding mission states that "the most important generals of the Tatmadaw, including the commander in chief Min Aung Hlaing, must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in the north of the state of Rakhine". Among the crimes mentioned after a lengthy investigation, there is murder, forced disappearance, torture and sexual violence "carried out on a large scale".

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