Myanmar court rejects appeal of jailed Reuters reporters

Pan Ei Mon and Chit Su Win wives of jailed Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo after their appeal was rejected

Pan Ei Mon and Chit Su Win wives of jailed Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo after their appeal was rejected

But in a ruling, Judge Aung Naing called their terms "a suitable punishment".

The trial of the pair was widely criticised, with human rights groups and global governments accusing the Myanmar regime of using the courts to target the two reporters for their reporting on the military-led massacre of Rohingya muslims in the village of Inn Din in Rahkine.

Kyaw Soe Oo's wife Chit Su Win said she planned on attending and was optimistic about the outcome.

The conviction of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo has drawn worldwide attention as an example of how democratic reforms in long-isolated Myanmar have stalled under the civilian government of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, which took power in 2016.

The defence did not provide enough evidence they were innocent, he said.

This morning, however, a judge ruled that it was a "reasonable decision" that was "not wrong according to the law" as he dismissed the appeal.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had each been handed prison sentences of seven years in June after they were found guilty of breaching the country's Official Secrets Act after it was claimed they were in possession of classified documents.

The appeal was also condemned by Amnesty International, who said the ruling "perpetuates an appalling injustice" while the chief executive of PEN America, Suzanne Nossel, said that "yet again Myanmar's justice system has turned its backs on the principles of rule of law and respect for rights that are the litmus test of democracy".

"(The decision) shows her contempt and the contempt in the country for worldwide opinion", Zawacki said. They maintain their innocence, saying the authorities set them up.

Both men have been in prison for more than a year.

The military had previously released its own investigation into allegations of abuse in Rakhine, and exonerated itself of all wrongdoing, despite large amounts of testimony from Rohingya refugees describing widespread atrocities.

Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary, who made earlier pledges to champion the journalists' cause, on Friday called on Ms Suu Kyi to take a "personal interest" in the case.

New UN Commissioner condemns sentencing of journalists in Myanmar.

"We are very disappointed about today's judgment", said the journalists' defence lawyer Than Zaw Aung, adding that the decision would have a "negative impact" on the country and its media.

They had been collecting evidence about the murders of 10 Rohingya men by the army in the village of Inn Din in northern Rakhine in September 2017. He said his team will discuss the option of a Supreme Court appeal with the two reporters.

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