Myanmar civilian leader defends jailing journalists
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)