Reuters Reporters Charged With Obtaining State Secrets in Myanmar

Two journalists from the Reuters news agency have been charged with obtaining secret state documents by a court in Myanmar, beginning a trial which could see the pair jailed for 14 years. The two reporters—Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28—pleaded not guilty after being charged with breaching of the colonial-era Official Secrets Act. The reporters told Yangon district judge Ye Lwin that they had followed journalistic ethics and, speaking to reporters outside the court Monday, Wa Lone said they had committed no crime and would testify to their innocence in court. “We will face the court,” he said. “We will not retreat, give up or be shaken by this.” Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen J. Adler said he was “deeply disappointed” with the ruling. “These Reuters journalists were doing their jobs in an independent and impartial way, and there are no facts or evidence to suggest that they’ve done anything wrong or broken any law,” he said in a statement. “Today’s decision casts serious doubt on Myanmar’s commitment to press freedom and the rule of law.”