Thursday, 24 Jan 2019

The story of ten Rohingya men makes two journalist was arrested by Myanmar government


The victimsThe victims -  Two reporters of the Reuters news agency has detained for two months by the Myanmar government were arrested for their investigation into the massacre of 10 Rohingyas.

This is the first time for Reuters has publicly confirmed what Myanmar citizens, Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, when they were arrested on December 12 2017 on the outskirts of Yangon.

Now, the couple are facing a 14-year prison sentence for allegedly possessing secret documents in violation of the Official Colonial Secrets Act of the colonial era.

Their ugly circumstances have sparked global fears of press freedom in Myanmar and government efforts to curb reporting in northern Rakhine state - a region that hit by a crisis in which soldiers are accused of ethnic cleansing campaigns against a Muslim-majority Rohingya.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingyas have fled the area since last August 2017, bringing stories of cruelty from the troops and vigilante groups in Buddhist-majority countries.

Myanmar authorities rejected the allegations but they banned independent media to accessing the conflict-stricken areas.

On Thursday, February 8, 2018, Reuters published a report that explaining how the Myanmar army and villagers executed 10 Rohingyas in the village of Dinn, Rakhine on September 2, 2017 before disposing of their bodies into a mass grave.

"Reuters's investigation of the massacre in the village of Din makes the Myanmar authorities must to arrest two of the reporters from the news agency," the report said.

The report is based on testimony from Buddhist villagers, security officers and murdered brothers.


Both journalists are known to have important documents, including photos of the victims with hands tied to knees on the ground before the killings - and their bodies while in the hole after they were shot.

Their ages ranged from 17 to 45 years. Among them are students, fishermen, farmers and shop owners. They are all part of the same Rohingya community at Inn Din.

"When the Burmese soldiers took them away, they said 'do not worry, we will send your children back soon. We will take them to a meeting'," said the father of one victim, Abdu Shakur.

One month after the arrest of journalists, the Myanmar army issued a rare statement acknowledging that the security forces participated in the killing of 10 Rohingya terrorists in Din Din village.

The Reuters report said the witnesses denied there had been a major offensive from Rohingya rebels before the massacre.

A Myanmar government spokesman also refused to comment. But Myanmar authorities denies the systematic breaches by its security guards, although there is some evidence that demonstrates cruelty.

The judge has rejected guarantees to the two journalists during the pre-hearing hearings, despite calls to free both journalists from human rights groups and diplomats around the world.



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