YANGON: A Myanmar judge dismissed an appeal Friday by two Reuters journalists jailed for seven years while investigating atrocities committed against the Rohingya, dashing slim hopes that the pair could be freed early.
Reporters Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were arrested in Yangon in December 2017 and later jailed for violating the state secrets act, a charge Reuters said was trumped up to muzzle their reporting.
Prosecutors say the two had classified information regarding security operations in Rakhine state, from where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled during an army-led crackdown the United Nations has dubbed “ethnic cleansing”.
Aung Naing, a judge at the Yangon Regional High Court, said Friday the original verdict was “not wrong according to the law” and was a “reasonable decision”.
“The court decides to dismiss the appeal,” he said.
Lawyers can now appeal to the Supreme Court in Myanmar, a process that could take an estimated six months.
The reporters’ wives cried after the decision which condemns the pair to continue their stay at Yangon’s notorious Insein prison, where they have been held for the last 13 months.
The two men — who were not present for the decision — have insisted they were victims of a police set-up, pointing to testimony from a serving officer who said a superior ordered others to entrap them.
At the time of the arrest they were probing a massacre of 10 Rohingya.
The original trial was widely regarded as a sham and seen as punishment for their investigation, sparking outrage around the world including from US Vice President Mike Pence.
Outside the country, the two men have been hailed as media freedom heroes and jointly named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2018, alongside other persecuted and slain journalists.
Bears growl at Hong Kong bourse
HONG KONG: Shares fell more than one percent Tuesday, hit by concerns over rising Iran-US tensions and as investors await this week’s crucial trade talks between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
The Hang Seng Index sank 1.15 percent, or 327.02 points, to 28,185.98. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.87 percent or 26.07 points,
to 2,982.07, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, lost 0.99 percent, or 15.63 points, to 1,560.46.
Pak role in Afghan peace process lauded by SG of NATO
BRUSSELS: Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting with Pakistani FM Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi has noted that Pakistan had played a positive role in regional peace.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO wanted to work with Pakistan on bilateral understanding.
GS NATO and FM Pakistan profoundly discussed security matters being faced by Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Kashmir.
Relevant pieces published earlier:
BRUSSELS: Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister (FM) of Pakistan, has arrived here today on a two-day official visit.
Here he will be signing a comprehensive strategic plan with EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. He will also meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at its headquarters in Brussels.
ISLAMABAD: FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi has informed that a strategic plan had been agreed with the European Union (EU).
FM said this while talking to the journalists here today before leaving for Brussels. FM further told that he would sign this agreement with EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Terming it a positive development Qureshi said it would begin long-term cooperation with the EU.
Qureshi, who is scheduled to meet NATO General Secretary at its headquarters in Brussels, said Pakistan had been cooperating with NATO and extended unprecedented help to US and NATO forces in matters pertaining to Afghanistan. FM reiterated that Pakistan had played a key role in the war against terrorism and NATO had acknowledged that fact.
Krish Das discusses Master of Sc. in Journalism program (VIDEO AND TEXT)
KARACHI: Krish Das, the US Consulate General’s spokesman here, and Dr. Larry Pintak, founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and member of the advisory board of the Center of Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) discuss the CEJ and its various programs including the Master of Science in Journalism.
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