Nations and rights groups around the world decry outrageous injustice as a Burmese court sentences Reuters journalists over a reporting of massacre on Rohingya at Inn Din village in Northern Arakan state of Burma.
The US and British ambassadors to Burma who were present at the sentencing Reuters reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo on Monday called the verdict a blow for the country transition to democracy and freedom of rights.Scot Marciel, US ambassador to Burma, said he was “sad for Wa lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and their families, but also for Myanmar”.
“It’s deeply troubling and a matter of the confidence the people of Myanmar(Burma) have in their justice system,” he said.
Dan Chugg, British ambassador to Burma expressed his extreme disappointment over the verdict that the judge has delivered on Monday. “The judge has appeared to have ignored evidence and to have ignored Myanmar(Burma) law. This has dealt a hammer blow for the rule of law,” he said.
Kristian Schmidt, EU ambassador to Burma, said to review the prison sentences of Wa Lone and Kyaw Sow Oo and asked for immediated and unconditional release of the Reuters reporters.
UN resident and humanitarian aid coordinator in
Myanmar, Knut Ostby expressed his disappointment over thethe verdict and called for the release of the journalists.”The United Nations has consistently called for the release of the Reuters journalists and urged the authorities to respect their right to pursue freedom of expression and information,” he said.
Denmark , in a statement, urged Burmese government to undo this injustice while spokesman at the Dutch embassy in Burma called on President Win Myint to release the two journalists as soon as possible.
Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, media adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, strongly condemned the prison sentence on the reporters who revealed the atrocities of Burmese governmen on Rohingya people in Arakan state. “It is now an open secret that any media or any person who wants to reveal the atrocities of the Myanmar army and administration against the Rohingya people will face persecution by the Myanmar government,” he said.
Stephen J Adler, Reuters’ editor-in- chief, denounced the charges against the reporters as false and designed to silence their reporting and intimidate the press and said it “must be corrected by the Myanmar(Burma) government as a matter of urgency”.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for the Human Rights Watch, called the sentence an “outrageous injustice” and said the military wanted
a guilty verdict against the two reporters in order to intimidate other journalists to avoid reporting on human rights violations.”This is a court system that has been very close to the Burmese military, [and] has done its dirty work in the past. We do not really see the kind the of independent judiciary that we would expect in a modern democracy.
Amnesty International’s Tirana Hassan called the verdict “a politically motivated decision” with significant ramifications for press freedom in Myanmar.”It sends a stark warning to other journalists of the severe consequences that await should they look too closely at military abuses”,she said
The Reuters reporters were arrested on December 12 while investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya and other abuses involving soldiers and police in Inn Din, a village in Rakhine state. After a long hearing, the two reporters were sentenced jail for seven years with hard labor Burmese Court on Monday.