Myanmar’s outspoken former information minister on Thursday called for a review and retrial of a case involving two Reuters reporters sentenced to seven year in prison for breaching a law on state secrets, in a ruling that human rights groups and media advocates have strongly condemned as a sham and a blow to press freedom.
Ye Htut, a former lieutenant colonel in the Myanmar Army who served as information minister from 2014 to 2016, said Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo should be retried on account of heavy pressure from the international community to release them, and that the case against them was handled improperly.
The two were sentenced on Sept. 3 after spending nine months in jail while they attended hearings on charges that they obtained confidential documents during their reporting on the killing of Rohingya villagers by security forces during a crackdown in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
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