UN human rights office calls for immediate release of Reuters journalists

Myanmar police officers escort Reuters journalist Wa Lone (C) as he arrives at the northern district court in Yangon on 1 February 2018. Photo: Thura/Mizzima

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr Rupert Colville called yesterday for the immediate release of the two local Reuters journalists arrested under the Official Secrets Act.

The following is his statement made on February 2:

“We deeply regret the continuing detention of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar, following yesterday’s decision by a court in Mingaladon to refuse bail, and we repeat our calls for their immediate release and for the charges against them to be dropped.

On 12 December last year, Reuters journalists Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone were arrested in extremely murky circumstances after being invited to meet police officers in a restaurant in Yangon.

Along with the Secretary-General, the Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression and on Myanmar – and many others – we are alarmed at the serious erosion of freedom of expression in Myanmar.

The United Nations is in contact with both Reuters and the Myanmar authorities over the case of the two men.”

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