Burma releases Reuters journalists jailed for reporting on Rohingya

Myanmar frees Reuters journalists jailed for reporting on Rohingya crisis

They were pardoned as part of New Year's amnesty custom in which thousands of people were released from the country's overcrowded prisons.

"Through their dedication and the courage they showed, Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone are an inspiration for all those who fight to defend the freedom of the press". "I can't wait to go to my newsroom", he said before departing to be reunited with his family.

Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said: "We are enormously pleased that Myanmar has released our courageous reporters".

"It is inspiring to see a news organization so committed to the protection of innocent men and the profession of journalism", Clooney said in a statement.

Myanmar will release a total of 6520 prisoners in an amnesty, the president's office says.

"The UN in Myanmar welcomes the release of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo from prison".

The two reporters were freed from Yangon's Insein Prison on Tuesday morning. In emotional scenes, Wa Lone was pictured holding his young daughter for the first time outside of police custody.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, Myanmar nationals who works for global news agency Reuters, have continuously maintained their innocence and stated they were set up by the police who planted official papers on them at a meeting.

Two Reuters journalists imprisoned in Myanmar for more than a year were freed Tuesday.

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Reuters journalists Kyaw Soe Oo, left, and Wa Lone, were sentenced to seven years in jail.

The two reporters were arrested in December 2017 as they were working on a story about security forces involved in killing Rohingya and were accused of illegally possessing official documents, a violation of the colonial-era Official Secrets Act.

"The Rohingya accuse the army of arson, rapes and killings aimed at rubbing them out of existence in this mainly Buddhist nation of 53 million", the Reuters report said.

Kyaw Soe Oo smiled and waved to reporters. They were sentenced to seven years behind bars.

Police swooped and arrested them with the classified information in their possession.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, also applauded the release, but noted Myanmar is prosecuting other bloggers and journalists for their reporting on the military and the government.

The families of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, their employer, press freedom groups, and journalist associations around the world had called for their release all along. Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi had so far appeared unwilling to free the journalists, saying publicly that they had broken the law and were not jailed for their work as reporters.

"It is a relief for them and their relatives, but also a positive step for freedom of the press.it is essential for the good functioning of our democracies that journalists are able to carry out their mission without fearing retaliation".

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