Two Reuters journalists who were jailed in Myanmar after they were convicted for breaking the Official Secrets Act walked free from prison on Tuesday after more than 500 days.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were convicted in September and sentenced to seven years in jail in a case that raised questions about Myanmar’s progress towards democracy and sparked an outcry from diplomats and human rights advocates.
The journalist were released under a presidential amnesty for 6,520 prisoners. President Win Myint has pardoned thousands of other prisoners in mass amnesties since last month.
It’s a natural event where the president pardons hundreds of prisoners every year during new year’s day.
Before their arrest in December 2017, they had been working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and Buddhist civilians in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State during an army crackdown that began in August 2017.
The operations led to over 750,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.
Government spokesman Zaw Htay said the decision to release the two was made after the families wrote to government leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
After the journalist came out through the gates of Insein Prison, on the outskirts of Yangon, they waived to the crowds and media friends and we’re whisked away by Reuters colleagues.
Source : Various