Jailed Reuters journalists freed

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48182712

Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo gesture as they walk free outside Insein prison after receiving a presidential pardon in Yangon, MyanmarImage copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have now been freed along with thousands of other prisoners

Jailed Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been freed in Myanmar, after a presidential amnesty.

They were convicted under the Official Secrets Act and were sentenced last September to seven years in jail.

The pair had reported that state security forces executed 10 Muslim Rohingya during a military operation in 2017.

Their imprisonment was widely condemned and called “damaging” to freedom of the press in the country.

As he left the prison on the outskirts of Yangon, Wa Lone, 33, told the BBC’s Nick Beake that he would never stop being a journalist.

“I’m really happy and excited to see my family and my colleagues. I can’t wait to go to my newsroom,” he also told reporters.

The pair were released along with thousands of other prisoners as part of mass amnesties that take place annually around Myanmar’s new year.

Reuters’ Editor-in-Chief said the reporters – who last month won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for their reporting – had become “symbols” of press freedom.

“We are enormously pleased Myanmar has released our courageous reporters,” Stephen J Adler said in a statement.

“They have become symbols of the importance of press freedom.”