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Jailed Reuters Journalists in Myanmar to Remain in Custody

  • VOA News

Reuters journalists Wa Lone, left, and Kyaw Soe Oo, who are based in Myanmar, pose for a picture at the Reuters office in Yangon, Myanmar, Dec. 11, 2017.

Two Reuters journalists in Myanmar who were arrested earlier this month will spend another two weeks in jail.

A court agreed with prosecutors' request Wednesday to impose a second 14-day detention on Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. Wednesday's court date was the first public appearance of the two men since their arrest on December 12. The courtroom was filled with reporters and family members of the reporters, who have been barred from seeing them during their detention.

Wa Lone maintained he and his partner violated no laws, and assured their relatives they have not been mistreated.

The 31-year-old Wa Lone and 27-year-old Kyaw Soe Oo are being investigated for violating Myanmar's Official Secrets Act. The pair were covering the military's brutal campaign against ethnic Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state. An estimated 655,000 Rohingyas have fled across the border to Bangladesh to avoid the violence, which the United Nations has described as "a textbook case" of ethnic cleansing.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo face 14 years in jail if convicted under the Official Secrets Act.