Myan­mar civil­ian leader de­fends jail­ing jour­nal­ists

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - World/region -

HANOI – Myan­mar’s de facto civil­ian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, yes­ter­day de­fended a court’s de­ci­sion last week to sen­tence two Reuters jour­nal­ists to seven years in prison in a trial widely seen as far­ci­cal and a ma­jor set­back for free ex­pres­sion in the coun­try.

The pair, she said, “were not jailed be­cause they were jour­nal­ists” but be­cause an “open court” has de­cided they broke a colo­nial-era se­crets act.

Her com­ments on the case, the first since the pair were sen­tenced amid wide­spread in­ter­na­tional con­dem­na­tion, dim hopes that her civil­ian gov­ern­ment will of­fer the pair a par­don and work to se­cure their free­dom.

The judg­ment handed down by the Myan­mar court against the two jour­nal­ists had “noth­ing to do with free­dom of ex­pres­sion at all,” Suu Kyi said, speak­ing at the re­gional World Eco­nomic Fo­rum meet­ings in Hanoi.

“If any­one feels that there has been a miscarriage of jus­tice, I would like them to point it out,” Suu Kyi said. “They were not jailed be­cause they were jour­nal­ists . . . . The court has de­cided that they broke the Of­fi­cials Se­crets Act.” (The Wash­ing­ton Post)

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