YANGON, Myanmar Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has joined the legal team representing two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar, lending both counsel and an international spotlight to a case that has widely been decried as an attack on the free press, Time Inc. online portal reported.
The two reporters, Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, have spent more than 100 days behind bars, shackled in a notorious prison emblematic of oppression during Myanmar’s military junta era. The pair is on trial for allegedly possessing secret government papers.
They were investigating the murders of 10 Muslim Rohingya men found in a mass grave following military violence the UN has called ethnic cleansing. If convicted, the two journalists face up to 14 years in prison under the colonial-era Officials Secrets Act.
“Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are being prosecuted simply because they reported the news,” Clooney said in a statement released by her office, Doughty Street Chambers.
“I have reviewed the case file and it is clear beyond doubt that the two journalists are innocent and should be released immediately. The outcome of this case will tell us a lot about Myanmar’s commitment to the rule of law and freedom of speech.”
Source: Voice of America