2 Reuters journalists appeal against Myanmar verdict

By Kyaw Ye LynnYANGON – An appeal has been filed for two Reuters journalists who were sentenced to long imprisonments in Myanmar for unraveling the atrocities, according to their lawyer on Monday.
Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were handed a seven-year sentence in September under a colonial-era law for allegedly breaching the Official Secrets Act as they investigated the murder of 10 Rohingya men in the western Rakhine state.
Defense lawyer Than Zaw Aung confirmed to Anadolu Agency that an appeal was filed against the conviction on Monday.“The appeal was lodged because the ruling is unfair and wrong,” Aung told Anadolu Agency.Reuters President and Editor-in-Chief, Stephen J. Adler said in a statement that the appeal cited evidence of a police set-up and lack of proof of a crime."In condemning them as spies, it ignored compelling evidence of a police set-up, serious due process violations, and the prosecution's failure to prove any of the key elements of the crime," Adler said.He called on Myanmar to "uphold its stated dedication to rule of law, freedom of the press, and democracy by ordering the release of our colleagues."

– Persecution

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience".

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children, and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

Missing Saudi journalist sparks backlash from US

By Kasim Ileri

WASHINGTON (AA) – The alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside a Saudi consulate building in Istanbul has drawn backlash from the United States.

The journalist and regular columnist in the Washington Post has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

A Reuters report on Saturday said that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate building after being detained for several days. Journalists and authorities alike in the U.S. have spoken against Saudi actions.

Khashoggi is known to have been critical of the Saudi domestic and foreign policies.

Washington Post editorial page editor and colleague of Khashoggi, Fred Hiatt said that if it had indeed occurred, the murder was a “monstrous and unfathomable act".

U.S. Senator and Foreign Relations Committee member Chris Murphy tweeted that if true, the killing should represent a “fundamental break” in U.S.-Saudi relations.

Murphy had previously demanded the Saudi government “provide an answer” on the whereabouts of Khashoggi.

Turkish police investigating the case had said in a statement yesterday that 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while Khashoggi was inside.

The Turkish police in Istanbul has been keeping an eye on the entry and exits at the Saudi Consulate since the time, Khashoggi entered the building, his fiancée said.

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul initiated an investigation on the day of the incident while the consulate also said on Twitter that it was working in coordination with Turkish authorities.

Turkey to continue buying Iranian gas: Erdogan

By Merve Aydogan

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey will continue to purchase Iranian natural gas, Reuters reported Wednesday quoting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In a late Tuesday interview with Reuters in New York on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting, Erdogan said the U.S. threats to punish countries doing business with Iran would not deter Turkey from purchasing Iranian natural gas.

“We need to be realistic … How can I heat my people’s homes if we stop purchasing Iran’s natural gas?,” Reuters quoted Erdogan as saying.

The first round of the U.S. pre-nuclear deal sanctions on Iran, largely targeting the country’s banking sector, came into effect in August.

In November, a second phase of U.S. sanctions banning the purchase of Iranian oil and gas is expected to come into effect.

The sanctions target Tehran's acquisition of U.S. dollars, precious metals trade, transactions related to Iran's rial currency, activities related to Iran's sovereign debt, and the country's automotive sector.

– Syria crisis

Regarding the ongoing Syria crisis, Erdogan reiterated that “it was impossible for Syrian peace efforts to continue with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power.”

He added that the withdrawal of “radical groups” already started from a new demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib region.

Last week, Turkey and Russia agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib, Syria’s last opposition stronghold, following a meeting in Sochi between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Ankara and Moscow also signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the “stabilization” of Idlib's de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

According to the MoU, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols in the area with a view to preventing renewed fighting.

– Pastor Brunson case

Also speaking on the detention of pastor Andrew Brunson who is under house arrest in Turkey for terrorism charges, Erdogan said Turkish justice, not politicians, will decide the fate of American pastor.

“This is a judiciary matter. Brunson has been detained on terrorism charges … On Oct. 12, there will be another hearing and we don’t know what the court will decide and politicians will have no say on the verdict,” he told Reuters.

As the Turkish president, Erdogan has no right to order the release of Brunson, he emphasized, saying: “Our judiciary is independent. Let’s wait and see what the court will decide.”

Turkey and the U.S. experience rocky relations following Washington’s imposition of sanctions over the detention of Brunson.

Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK — listed as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey — and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016.

Political tensions between the two countries had sparked worries in markets this month, after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to use economic pressure over the American pastor who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.

Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan gündemi değerlendirdi

NEW YORK (AA) – Türkiye Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Türkiye'nin İran'dan doğal gaz almayı sürdüreceğini söyledi.

Erdoğan, New York'taki BM 73. Genel Kurulu görüşmeleri sırasında Reuters ajansıyla yaptığı söyleşide, ABD'nin Tahran yönetimini hedef alan yaptırımlarına rağmen Türkiye'nin İran'dan doğal gaz satın almayı sürdüreceğini ifade etti.

Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan, Suriye konusunda da Beşşar Esed rejimiyle barış çabalarının sürdürülmesinin mümkün olmadığını ve radikal grupların İdlib'de yeni silahtan arındırılmış bölgeden çıkışlarının başladığını belirtti.

– "Brunson'ın kaderine siyasetçiler değil, Türk yargısı karar verecek"

Söyleşide Türkiye'de yargılanmasına devam edilen Amerikalı Rahip Andrew Brunson meselesine de değinen Erdoğan, Brunson'ın kaderine siyasetçilerin değil, Türk yargısının karar vereceğini söyledi.

Erdoğan, Brunson'ın Türkiye'de terör örgütleriyle ilişkisi olduğu suçlamasıyla gözaltına alındığına ve daha sonra tutuklandığına işaret ederek, 12 Ekim'de yapılacak duruşmada mahkemenin ne karar vereceğini bilmediğini, karar mercinin siyasiler olmadığını kaydetti.

Rahip Brunson'ı cumhurbaşkanı sıfatıyla affetme yetkisi bulunmadığına dikkati çeken Erdoğan, "Yargımız bağımsızdır. Mahkemenin ne karar vereceğini bekleyip görelim." ifadesini kullandı.

Erdoğan, Brunson davasının Türk ekonomisiyle uzaktan yakından ilişkisi bulunmadığını belirterek, şu anda ülkedeki ekonomik sıkıntının abartılacak bir süreç olmadığını, Türkiye'nin bunu kendi imkanlarıyla çok kısa zamanda aşacağını vurguladı.

Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan, Merkez Bankasının eylül ortasında politika faizini 625 baz puan artırarak yüzde 17,75'ten 24'e yükseltmesine ilişkin olarak da bunun, Merkez Bankasının bağımsızlığının açık bir göstergesi olduğunu, kendisinin cumhurbaşkanı olarak faiz artışına karşı çıktığını yineledi.

Indonesian journalists slam Reuters reporters’ verdict

ANKARA (AA) – The Alliance of Independent Journalists Indonesia (AJI) on Tuesday condemned Myanmar after a court sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in jail.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, are charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison during the investigation into the murder of 10 Rohingya men in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state.

According to a statement by AJI, the two journalists had been working on stories about military crackdowns in the Rakhine state.

“The verdict is a serious threat to press freedom, a bad precedent and a major setback for Myanmar's democracy,” the AJI statement read.

It said, “AJI believed it is important for Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries to have a press freedom and freedom of speech, which will encourage transparency and accountability within the government.”

AJI called on Myanmar authorities to respect the rights of the journalists in “carrying out their professional work, including their freedom of expression.”

The alliance also offered its support to both the journalists and to Reuters.

“We called organizations and individuals in various regions to support both Reuters journalists as a part of collective actions to preserve press freedom in southeast Asia,” it added.

UPDATE 6 – Myanmar slaps prison sentences on 2 Reuters journalists

UPDATES WITH REACTION FROM UN

By Kyaw Ye Lynn

YANGON, Myanmar (AA) – A Myanmar court on Monday sentenced two Reuters news agency journalists to seven years in jail for an investigation into the murder of Rohingya Muslim men by security officials.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, are charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison during the investigation into the murder of 10 Rohingya men in Rakhine state.

Judge Ye Lwin of Yangon’s Northern District Court said each journalist was handed a seven-year term as they were found guilty of obtaining and possessing classified documents which they possibly transferred to insurgent groups that are fighting against the government.

Wa Lone said the ruling is unfair.

“We did nothing wrong, and we have no fear. We still believe in democracy and freedom of speech.”

“We will fight for justice until the end,” he said.

Defense lawyer Than Zaw Aung also said the ruling is unfair.

“We will do everything legally,” he added.

– Criticism

Following their conviction, the U.S. embassy called on Myanmar to release the journalists immediately, saying it is “a major setback” to the government of Myanmar's stated goal of expanding democratic freedoms.

"The clear flaws in this case raise serious concerns about the rule of law and judicial independence in Myanmar," it said in a statement.

France also slammed the sentencing and reiterated its call for the release of the two imprisoned journalists as well as allowing free access of the media in Rakhine.

"France reaffirms its constant commitment to freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and respect for these freedoms is a cornerstone of any democratic society," the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Germany sharply criticized the court’s decision, with the government’s Human Rights Commissioner Baerbel Kofler saying it was a “serious blow” to press freedom in Myanmar.

“The two journalists were found guilty of treason based on a law from the colonial era. They have done nothing other than supporting the pursuit of truth in Rakhine [state],” she said in a statement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is concerned over the conviction and sentencing in Myanmar of the two journalists, said his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, in a statement.

“He urges the authorities to review their decision,” Dujarric added.

“It is unacceptable that these journalists were prosecuted for reporting on major human rights violations against the Rohingya in Rakhine State.

“The Secretary-General will continue to advocate for the release of the journalists. He calls for full respect of freedom of the press and all human rights in Myanmar,” he added.

The ruling also drew criticism from local and international rights groups.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said it marks “a new low for press freedom and further backsliding on rights” under the government led by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, who was accused of failing to stop the military atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.

"The outrageous convictions of the Reuters journalists show Myanmar courts’ willingness to muzzle those reporting on military atrocities,” said HRW’s Asia director Brad Adams.

After their arrest, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were held incommunicado for two weeks, during which they were deprived of sleep and forced to kneel for hours during interrogation, according to the reporters and their lawyers.

“These convictions won’t hide the horrors against the Rohingya from the world,” said Adams.

“They merely reveal the precarious state of free speech in the country and the urgent need for international action to free these journalists.”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also condemned the ruling and reiterated its call for the immediate release of the reporters.

“The conviction of Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone is a terrible blow to press freedom in Myanmar,” RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.

“As the justice system clearly followed orders, in this case, we call on the country’s most senior officials, starting with government leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to free these journalists, whose only crime was to do their job. After a farcical prosecution, this outrageous verdict clearly calls into question Myanmar’s transition to democracy,” he added.

The London-based Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) also condemned the conviction of the two Reuters journalists, saying it signaled "another failure by the National League for Democracy administration to protect human rights and press freedom in Burma…and stands in stark contrast to the impunity enjoyed by the military for the crimes that these reporters exposed”.

UPDATE 5 – Myanmar slaps prison sentences on 2 Reuters journalists

UPDATES WITH REACTION FROM GERMANY

By Kyaw Ye Lynn

YANGON, Myanmar (AA) – A Myanmar court on Monday sentenced two Reuters news agency journalists to seven years in jail for investigation into the murder of Rohingya Muslim men by security officials.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, are charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison during the investigation into the murder of 10 Rohingya men in the western Rakhine state.

Judge Ye Lwin of Yangon’s Northern District Court said each journalist was handed a seven-year imprisonment as they were found guilty of obtaining and possessing classified documents which they possibly transferred to the insurgent groups that are fighting against the government.

Wa Lone said the ruling is unfair.

“We did nothing wrong, and we have no fear. We still believe in democracy and freedom of speech,” said Wa Lone.

“We will fight for justice until the end,” he said.

Defense lawyer Than Zaw Aung said the ruling is unfair. “We will do everything legally.”

– Criticism

The United States embassy, after the conviction, called on Myanmar to release the journalists immediately, saying it is “a major setback” to the Government of Myanmar's stated goal of expanding democratic freedoms.

"The clear flaws in this case raise serious concerns about rule of law and judicial independence in Myanmar," it said in a statement.

France has also slammed the sentence and reiterated its call for the release of two imprisoned journalists, as well as allowing free access of media in Rakhine.

"France reaffirms its constant commitment to freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and respect for these freedoms is a cornerstone of any democratic society," French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Germany sharply criticized the court decision, with the government’s Human Rights Commissioner Baerbel Kofler saying that it was a “serious blow” to press freedom in Myanmar.

“The two journalists were found guilty of treason based on a law from the colonial era. They have done nothing other than supporting the pursuit of truth in Rakhine (state),” she said in a statement.

The ruling also drew criticism from local and international rights groups.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said it marks “a new low for press freedom and further backsliding on rights” under the government led by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, who was accused of failing to stop the military atrocities on Rohingya Muslims.

"The outrageous convictions of the Reuters journalists show Myanmar courts’ willingness to muzzle those reporting on military atrocities,” said HRW’s Asia director Brad Adams.

After their arrest, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were held incommunicado for two weeks, during which they were deprived of sleep and forced to kneel for hours during interrogation, according to the reporters and their lawyers.

“These convictions won’t hide the horrors against the Rohingya from the world,” said Adams.

“They merely reveal the precarious state of free speech in the country and the urgent need for international action to free these journalists.”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also condemned the ruling and reiterated its call for the immediate release of the reporters.

“The conviction of Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone is a terrible blow to press freedom in Myanmar,” RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.

“As the justice system clearly followed orders in this case, we call on the country’s most senior officials, starting with government leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to free these journalists, whose only crime was to do their job. After a farcical prosecution, this outrageous verdict clearly calls into question Myanmar’s transition to democracy,” he added.

London-based Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) also condemned the conviction of the two Reuters journalists, saying that it signaled "another failure by the National League for Democracy administration to protect human rights and press freedom in Burma."

"… and stands in stark contrast to the impunity enjoyed by the military for the crimes that these reporters exposed," the statement published on Monday added.

UPDATE 4 – Myanmar slaps prison sentences on 2 Reuters journalists

UPDATES WITH REACTION FROM BURMA HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK

By Kyaw Ye Lynn

YANGON, Myanmar (AA) – A Myanmar court on Monday sentenced two Reuters news agency journalists to seven years in jail for investigation into the murder of Rohingya Muslim men by security officials.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, are charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison during the investigation into the murder of 10 Rohingya men in the western Rakhine state.

Judge Ye Lwin of Yangon’s Northern District Court said each journalist was handed a seven-year imprisonment as they were found guilty of obtaining and possessing classified documents which they possibly transferred to the insurgent groups that are fighting against the government.

Wa Lone said the ruling is unfair.

“We did nothing wrong, and we have no fear. We still believe in democracy and freedom of speech,” said Wa Lone.

“We will fight for justice until the end,” he said.

Defense lawyer Than Zaw Aung said the ruling is unfair. “We will do everything legally.”

– Criticism

The United States embassy, after the conviction, called on Myanmar to release the journalists immediately, saying it is “a major setback” to the Government of Myanmar's stated goal of expanding democratic freedoms.

"The clear flaws in this case raise serious concerns about rule of law and judicial independence in Myanmar," it said in a statement.

France has also slammed the sentence and reiterated its call for the release of two imprisoned journalists, as well as allowing free access of media in Rakhine.

"France reaffirms its constant commitment to freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and respect for these freedoms is a cornerstone of any democratic society," French Foreign Ministry said in a statement. ​

The ruling also drew criticism from local and international rights groups.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said it marks “a new low for press freedom and further backsliding on rights” under the government led by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, who was accused of failing to stop the military atrocities on Rohingya Muslims.

"The outrageous convictions of the Reuters journalists show Myanmar courts’ willingness to muzzle those reporting on military atrocities,” said HRW’s Asia director Brad Adams.

After their arrest, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were held incommunicado for two weeks, during which they were deprived of sleep and forced to kneel for hours during interrogation, according to the reporters and their lawyers.

“These convictions won’t hide the horrors against the Rohingya from the world,” said Adams.

“They merely reveal the precarious state of free speech in the country and the urgent need for international action to free these journalists.”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also condemned the ruling and reiterated its call for the immediate release of the reporters.

“The conviction of Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone is a terrible blow to press freedom in Myanmar,” RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.

“As the justice system clearly followed orders in this case, we call on the country’s most senior officials, starting with government leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to free these journalists, whose only crime was to do their job. After a farcical prosecution, this outrageous verdict clearly calls into question Myanmar’s transition to democracy,” he added.

London-based Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) also condemned the conviction of the two Reuters journalists, saying that it signaled "another failure by the National League for Democracy administration to protect human rights and press freedom in Burma."

"… and stands in stark contrast to the impunity enjoyed by the military for the crimes that these reporters exposed," the statement published on Monday added.

*Satuk Bugra Kutlugun contributed to this report from Ankara

UPDATE 3 – Myanmar slaps prison sentences on 2 Reuters journalists

UPDATES WITH REACTION FROM FRANCE

By Kyaw Ye Lynn

YANGON, Myanmar (AA) – A Myanmar court on Monday sentenced two Reuters news agency journalists to seven years in jail for investigation into the murder of Rohingya Muslim men by security officials.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, are charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison during the investigation into the murder of 10 Rohingya men in the western Rakhine state.

Judge Ye Lwin of Yangon’s Northern District Court said each journalist was handed a seven-year imprisonment as they were found guilty of obtaining and possessing classified documents which they possibly transferred to the insurgent groups that are fighting against the government.

Wa Lone said the ruling is unfair.

“We did nothing wrong, and we have no fear. We still believe in democracy and freedom of speech,” said Wa Lone.

“We will fight for justice until the end,” he said.

Defense lawyer Than Zaw Aung said the ruling is unfair. “We will do everything legally.”

– Criticism

The United States embassy, after the conviction, called on Myanmar to release the journalists immediately, saying it is “a major setback” to the Government of Myanmar's stated goal of expanding democratic freedoms.

“The clear flaws in this case raise serious concerns about rule of law and judicial independence in Myanmar,” it said in a statement.

France has also slammed the sentence and reiterated its call for the release of two imprisoned journalists, as well as allowing free access of media in Rakhine.

"France reaffirms its constant commitment to freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and respect for these freedoms is a cornerstone of any democratic society," French Foreign Ministry said in a statement. ​

The ruling also drew criticism from local and international rights groups.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said it marks “a new low for press freedom and further backsliding on rights” under the government led by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, who was accused of failing to stop the military atrocities on Rohingya Muslims.

“The outrageous convictions of the Reuters journalists show Myanmar courts’ willingness to muzzle those reporting on military atrocities,” said HRW’s Asia director Brad Adams.

After their arrest, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were held incommunicado for two weeks, during which they were deprived of sleep and forced to kneel for hours during interrogation, according to the reporters and their lawyers.

“These convictions won’t hide the horrors against the Rohingya from the world,” said Adams.

“They merely reveal the precarious state of free speech in the country and the urgent need for international action to free these journalists.”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also condemned the ruling and reiterated its call for the immediate release of the reporters.

“The conviction of Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone is a terrible blow to press freedom in Myanmar,” RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.

“As the justice system clearly followed orders in this case, we call on the country’s most senior officials, starting with government leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to free these journalists, whose only crime was to do their job. After a farcical prosecution, this outrageous verdict clearly calls into question Myanmar’s transition to democracy,” he added.

* Hajer M’tiri contributed to this report from Paris

Myanmar'daki Reuters muhabirlerinin hapis cezasına mahkum edilmesi

ANKARA (AA) – Burma (Myanmar) İnsan Hakları Ağı (BHRN), Myanmar'da Arakanlı Müslümanlara yönelik yargısız infazlarla ilgili askeri belgeleri ifşa ettikleri gerekçesiyle Reuters haber ajansının iki muhabirin yedişer yıl hapse mahkum edilmesine tepki gösterdi.

BHRN'den yapılan yazılı açıklamada, "Myanmar'da mahkeme tarafından verilen bu karar, ülkede demokrasi, insan hakları ve basın özgürlüğü konusundaki diğer bir başarısızlığının sinyalidir." ifadeleri kullanıldı.

BHRN Direktörü Kyaw Win, Reuters çalışanı iki muhabir Wa Lone ve Kyaw Soe Oo'nun yedişer hapse mahkum edilmesinin, Aung San Suu Çii yönetiminde ordunun hatalarını ortaya çıkaranlara nasıl ceza verildiğinin göstergesi olduğunu vurguladı.

Mahkeme kararının bozulması gerektiğini kaydeden Win, ülkedeki savaş suçları konusunda adalet ve hesap verme ortamının sağlanmasının önemine işaret etti.

Yangan Mahkemesi, yaklaşık bir yıldır tutuklu bulunan Wa Lone ve Kyaw Soe Oo'yu Devlet Sırları Yasası'nı ihlal etmekten suçlu bularak yedişer yıl hapse mahkum etmişti.

Muhabirler, 13 Aralık'ta ellerinde Arakan eyaletindeki bir mevkinin haritası ve askeri raporların bulunması üzerine Devlet Sırları Yasası çerçevesinde tutuklanmıştı.

Myanmar'da parlamento binası yakınında drone ile görüntü aldıkları iddiasıyla 27 Ekim'de gözaltına alınan gazeteciler Lau Hon Meng ve Mok Choy Lin ile Myanmar vatandaşı şoför ve yerel gazeteci Aung Naing Soe da ruhsatsız drone bulundurmaktan yargılanmıştı. TRT World adına çalışan 4 kişi, 10 Kasım'da ikişer ay hapse mahkum edilmişti.

Myanmar yönetiminin özellikle orduyla bağlantılı konularda özgür basına baskıyı artırdığı ifade ediliyor.

Birleşmiş Milletler raporlarına göre, 700 binden fazla Arakanlı Müslüman, 25 Ağustos 2017'den bu yana Myanmar'da zulüm ve katliamlardan kaçarak Bangladeş'e sığındı. Köyleri tamamen yakılan Arakanlı Müslümanlardan binlercesinin katledildiği belirtiliyor.

Myanmar ordusunun etnik temizliğe dönüştürdüğü saldırılarda 300'e yakın köy, ordu ve fanatik Budistler tarafından yok edildi.

Arakan'da 1970'lerde yaklaşık 2 milyon Müslüman'ın yaşadığı tahmin edilirken, sistematik saldırılardan kaçış nedeniyle bu sayı 350 binin altına geriledi.