Myanmar Press Council calls for settling of reporters case through media law


Aung Hla Tun, Vice-Chairman of Myanmar Press Council, talks to media during the press conference about the two arrested journalists in Yangon, Myanmar, 20 December 2017. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA-EFE

The Myanmar Press Council has called for the government to settle the case of two detained Reuters reporters through the media law.

The statement was issued at a press conference at the Orchid Hotel in Yangon on December 20.

The press statement released says they want to appear as expert witnesses as and when the accused are put on trial and also requested the government to let them give legal aid to the two detained reporters if necessary.

The Myanmar Press Council reaffirmed its stance on media ethics, accuracy on facts, impartiality and fairness in covering the news, and matters relating to leaked information, classified and restricted information and protection of news sources.

Myanmar Press Council Secretary Thiha Saw said that they would do whatever they could do for the two detained reporters within the legal framework and they were planning to amend the Media Law.

“We have a media law. If you ask me do you like it, I shall answer no. I myself do not like this law. So we have collected opinions from all media persons in all 14 States and Regions. We have already presented what we would like to amend in this law to the (Information) Ministry.” Thiha Saw said.

The government released a press statement via state-run media which says the two Reuters reporters namely Thet Oo Maung Maung aka Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo aka Moe Aung were arrested on December 12 for their alleged involvement in collecting classified information relating to security measures being implemented in northern Rakhine State with the intent of selling to foreign countries.

The US embassy in Yangon, EU, Media Protection Committee and at least 12 media organisations in Myanmar issued press statements on December 13, protesting the arrest and detention of the two reporters.

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