REUTERS – A group of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong on Wednesday (September 5) called for the immediate release of two Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar.
The activists, led by Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki, went to the consulate in Hong Kong and shouted “shame on the Myanmar government” while waving placards showing an illustration of the reporters being handcuffed. They called on the Myanmar government to immediately release the jailed reporters and stop prosecuting the Rohingya people.
The journalists were found guilty on Monday (September 3) on official secrets charges and sentenced to seven years in prison in a landmark case seen as a test of progress towards democracy in Myanmar, which was ruled by a military junta until 2011.
Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya men and boys and other abuses involving soldiers and police in the village of Inn Din at the time of their arrest last December, and had pleaded not guilty.
Myanmar has denied allegations of atrocities against Rohingya by its security forces, saying it conducted a legitimate counterinsurgency operation against Muslim militants. A U.N. mandated fact-finding mission said last week that Myanmar’s military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with “genocidal intent” and called for top generals to be prosecuted.