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BANGKOK 19 January 2019 19:44
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Myanmar court rejects appeal by jailed Reuters reporters

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Myanmar court rejects appeal by jailed Reuters reporters

 

2019-01-11T065802Z_1_LYNXNPEF0A0B3_RTROPTP_4_GLOBAL-RIGHTS-JOURNALISTS.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Detained Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone are escorted by police as they leave after a court hearing in Yangon, Myanmar, August 20, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo

 

YANGON (Reuters) - A Myanmar court on Friday rejected the appeal of two Reuters reporters sentenced to seven years in jail on charges of breaking the Official Secrets Act, saying the defence had not provided sufficient evidence to show they were innocent.

 

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were convicted by a lower court in September in a landmark case that has raised questions about Myanmar's progress towards democracy and sparked an outcry from diplomats and human rights advocates.

 

"It was a suitable punishment," said High Court Judge Aung Naing, referring to the seven-year prison term meted out by the lower court.

 

The defence has the option of making a further appeal to the country's supreme court, based in the capital Naypyitaw.

 

"Today's ruling is yet another injustice among many inflicted upon Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. They remain behind bars for one reason: those in power sought to silence the truth," said Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen J. Adler in a statement.

 

"Reporting is not a crime, and until Myanmar rights this terrible wrong, the press in Myanmar is not free, andMyanmar's commitment to rule of law and democracy remains in doubt."

 

In their appeal arguments made last month, defence lawyers had cited evidence of a police set-up and lack of proof of a crime.

 

They told the appeal court the lower court that tried the case had wrongly placed the burden of proof on the defendants.

 

The defence also said prosecutors had failed to prove the reporters gathered and collected secret information, sent information to an enemy of Myanmar or that they had an intention to harm national security.

 

The judge said the defendants did not follow journalistic ethics and that the court could not determine whether the arrest of the reporters was a trap.

 

Khine Khine Soe, a legal officer representing the government, told the appeal hearing that the evidence showed the reporters had collected and kept confidential documents. He said they intended to harm national security and the national interest.

 

Before their arrest, the reporters had been working on a Reuters investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and Buddhist civilians in western Myanmar's Rakhine State during an army crackdown that began in August 2017.

 

The operation sent more than 730,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh, according to United Nations' estimates.

 

(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski, Editing by Alex Richardson and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-01-11
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These countries with slow prefrontal lobe development, always confuse "they did not prove their innocence," when they should be saying "we could not prove their guilt."

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13 hours ago, ReMarKable said:

These countries with slow prefrontal lobe development, always confuse "they did not prove their innocence," when they should be saying "we could not prove their guilt."

So you assume that this was done because Myanmar is full of stupid people.

Right, now I understand.

 

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10 hours ago, cooked said:

So you assume that this was done because Myanmar is full of stupid people.

Right, now I understand.

 

It is stupid if you are a cop or a judge not to know the difference between "they have not proved their innocence"  and "we have found them guilty."  I found this in 3rd world countries that have adopted western laws, but the adopted laws are not the true values of the people.  What Thais, I believe, really want to say is prove you are innocent or you are guilty.

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3 hours ago, ReMarKable said:

It is stupid if you are a cop or a judge not to know the difference between "they have not proved their innocence"  and "we have found them guilty."  I found this in 3rd world countries that have adopted western laws, but the adopted laws are not the true values of the people.  What Thais, I believe, really want to say is prove you are innocent or you are guilty.

Let's start again. What makes you think they don't know the difference? Of course they do. 

They aren't stupid they want to keep their job.

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12 hours ago, cooked said:

Let's start again. What makes you think they don't know the difference? Of course they do. 

They aren't stupid they want to keep their job.

Justice officials keep their job by making stupid statements suggesting to the world they don't know justice or what the law is or what innocent until proven guilty means?

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Let's get down to it. No matter what their politics, people assume that those who disagree with them must be stupid. This isn't a statement made because the official is stupid, he knows very well what he is doing.

I might call it a misleading or manipulative statement, stupid no.

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