Ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party central executive committee member and secretariat committee member Win Htein has said that authorities had laid a trap and framed two Reuters reporters.
“I think they were framed in this case as they were arrested with documents in their hands. We heard that they received these documents from police personnel who dined with them. They were arrested on their way back. They should not be so stupid like that. The reporters must be smart and clever,” Win Htein said.
Win Htein was commenting on the case of Thet Oo Maung aka Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo aka Moe Aung, who were arrested under section 3 of Myanmar Official Secrets Act.
It carries a maximum punishment of 14 years’ imprisonment and family members have not yet had access to them.
Win Htein further said that “I feel sorry for them. The section used in filing the case against them suggests this was pre-meditated.”
“[A threat to] state security is a big issue and accusation. We must release them from the clutches of the law after international pressure and give them the expertise of lawyers who will represent them,” Win Htein added.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres commenting on the arrest of the two reporters at a conference held in Tokyo on December 14 said that the arrest of the two showed the sign of corrosion of freedom of the press in Myanmar.