The detention of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar was extended for two more weeks, a court said Wednesday, in the pair’s first public appearance since their December 12 arrest under a draconian colonial-era secrecy law.
Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27 — Myanmar nationals who had been reporting on a military-led crackdown on Rohingya Muslims — were arrested after being invited to meet police for dinner on the outskirts of Yangon.
They face up to 14 years in jail under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly possessing documents related to the army crackdown in Rakhine state — a highly sensitive issue in Myanmar.
The UN says the army is likely guilty of ethnic cleansing and may have committed genocide against the Muslim minority, some 655,000 of whom have fled the country since the military launched a crackdown on Rohingya rebels in late August.
Myanmar denies the allegations and has tightly controlled media and UN access to the conflict area.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo face up to 14 years in jail for allegedly possessing documents related to the army crackdown in Rakhine
Myanmar officials have refused to comment on where the Reuters journalists were being detained or when they would be released.
On Wednesday, the pair appeared in public for the first time in a court on the outskirts of Yangon, where they were embraced by tearful relatives who have been denied any contact with the two men.
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