World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Myanmar: Grave concern at charges against journalist

Myanmar: UN experts gravely concerned by court charges against Reuters journalists

GENEVA (11 July 2018) – UN human rights experts* expressed grave concern after a court in Myanmar officially charged two Reuters journalists under the 1923 Official Secrets Act in connection with their investigations into a massacre at Inn Din village, Rakhine State.

“We strongly reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and that all charges be dropped,” they said. “The prosecution criminalises investigative journalism reporting on human rights violations in the Rakhine State, issues of the highest public interest.”

The two reporters, who were arrested last December, were charged on Monday with obtaining secret state documents. The Official Secrets Act carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.

The Special Rapporteurs previously have urged greater press freedom after the journalists’ detention and called on the Government of Myanmar to drop the prosecution charges.

“We are also deeply troubled that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are held in deplorable conditions - incommunicado at the outset of their detention, and now lack access to medical treatment and sleep deprivation.”

The UN experts urged Myanmar to respect press freedom and the public’s right to know, so that journalists can carry out their duties freely and safely. They also called for the review and ultimate revision of the Official Secrets Act in line with Myanmar’s obligations under international law.

The Special Rapporteurs will continue to be in contact with the Myanmar authorities concerning the case.

ENDS

*The UN experts: Ms. Yanghee Lee, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar and Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO:

Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>

ALSO:

Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>

ALSO:

Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>

ALSO: