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Jailed for 500 days in Myanmar, Reuters scribes freed

Last updated on: May 07, 2019 10:49 IST

Two Reuters journalists who were jailed in Myanmar for breaking the Official Secrets Acts have been freed on Tuesday after spending more than 500 days behind bars.

IMAGE: Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo celebrate with their children after being freed from prison, after receiving a presidential pardon in Yangon, Myanmar. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were convicted in September and sentenced to seven years of jail, reported Al Jazeera.

"I am a journalist and I am going to continue. I can't wait to go to my newsroom," said Wa.

 

"We are enormously pleased that Myanmar has released our courageous reporters," Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said in a statement.

"Since their arrests 511 days ago, they have become symbols of the importance of press freedom around the world. We welcome their return," Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler added.

IMAGE: Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo gesture as they walk free outside Insein prison after receiving a presidential pardon in Yangon, Myanmar. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters

The duo was among the 6,250 prisoners who were pardoned by Myanmar President Win Myint. It is customary of the Myanmar authorities to free prisoners during their traditional New Year, which began on April 17.

The Reuters' journalists were detained in December 2017 while they were investigating the Rohingya crisis in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

They were sentenced to seven years each in jail by a Yangon court for the breach of OSA. However, the accused journalists maintained that neither of them had done anything wrong.

Their conviction attracted a lot of flak for the Myanmar government. It raised questions over Myanmar's progress toward democracy.

Source: ANI
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