Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, at the plenary session of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Vietnam, said that the two journalists who had been jailed for reporting on alleged ethnic cleansing and human rights violations on Rohingyas could appeal their verdict, Reuters reported. They had been given a verdict of a seven year imprisonment amid criticism against the state.
“If anybody feels there has been a miscarriage of justice I would like them to point it out. I wonder whether very many people have actually read the summary of the judgement which had nothing to do with freedom of expression at all, it had to do with an Official Secrets Act. If we believe in the rule of law, they have every right to appeal the judgment and to point out why the judgement was wrong,” she said.
Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, and Wa Lone, 32 have been sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment by a court in Myanmar. The verdict was ruled under the official secrets law for illegal possession of official documents.
The journalists pleaded not guilty in the court and stated that they were framed by the police. Both reporters have been reporting on the alleged ethnic cleansing and human rights violations on Rohingyas by the Myanmar army in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.
According to Reuters, the journalist told the court that the documents he is accused of breaking state secrets laws to obtain were planted by a police officer, who handed him papers he had not sought in order to entrap him. Wa Lone had told the court that he followed the journalistic ethics in his reporting of the Rohingya massacre.
Lone said that he had not reviewed the documents properly before he was arrested, so could not speak about their contents. He repeatedly said he had not violated Myanmar media law. “The documents found in my hands were given by Police Lance Corporal Naing Lin to set us up and arrest us,” Wa Lone told the court.