Rohingya crisis: Myanmar Court extends detention of two journalists

ANI | Updated: Dec 28, 2017 05:40 IST

Hong Kong [Hong Kong], Dec 28 (ANI): A Myanmar Court extended the detention of two journalists for another 14 days, who are accused of breaching the country's Official Secrets Act, despite being condemned by the international community as an attack on press freedom.

Reuters' journalists, 31-year-old U Wa Lone, and 27-year-old U Kyaw Soe Oo, were arrested while reporting on Rakhine State, which is where the Rohingya crisis is going on.

The two were charged with violating Myanmar's Official Secrets Act, a broad colonial-era law that carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.

The duo were arrested on December 12 after they allegedly obtained photographs from residents of a village in which, the army's chief said, a mass grave was found, reported The New York times.

The United States, has called these arrests "highly irregular."

More than 655,000 Rohingyas have crossed into Bangladesh since August 25, escaping a military crackdown in Rakhine state, which many countries and human rights bodies have described as ethnic cleansing.

The military action, which was triggered after their posts became targets of terrorist attacks, invited ire of the international community.

On October 12, a United Nations' report based on interviews conducted in Bangladesh found that brutal attacks against Rohingyas in the northern Rakhine state have been well-organised, coordinated and systematic, with the intent of not only driving the population out of Myanmar but preventing them from returning to their homes.

The Rakhine state is home to a majority of Muslims in Myanmar, who have been denied citizenship and long faced persecution in the Buddhist-majority country, especially from the extremists. (ANI)