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Protest over Burma pounce

World | Jan 11, 2018
Prosecutors in Burma charged two journalists from the Reuters news agency yesterday with violating the Official Secrets Act, signaling the case will go forward despite international condemnation.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested on December 12 after police accused them of violating the colonial-era law by acquiring "important secret papers" from two policemen. The police officers had worked in Rakhine state, where security forces are blamed for rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims that sparked the exodus of 650,000 people to Bangladesh.

Dozens of journalists wearing black waited outside the court in Rangoon to protest the arrest of their colleagues, who were led into the court smiling and giving the thumbs-up sign despite handcuffs.

"This is unacceptable," Wa Lone said from the back of a police truck. "I want to tell you that they are charging us like this to stop us finding the truth. Their actions are wrong and unfair."

The journalists' lawyer, Than Zaw Aung, said the prosecutor indicted the pair and they now face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

ASSOCIATED PRESS



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