Yangon: Two Reuters journalists namely Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were freed from jail on Tuesday in Myanmar. The move comes as a part of the presidential amnesty that takes place annually around Myanmar’s new year, reported the BBC. The Journalists were released along with thousands of other prisoners as part of mass amnesties. Also Read - Wildlife Smuggling of Exotic Species From Myanmar Seized in Assam by Forest Officials
Wa Lone reportedly said that he would never stop being a journalist even after he left the prison on the outskirts of Yangon. A report by a leading daily quoted Wa Lone as saying, “I’m really happy and excited to see my family and my colleagues. I can’t wait to go to my newsroom.” Also Read - Over 100 Workers Killed in Landslide at Myanmar's Largest Jade Mine
Wa Lone, 33 and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29 were convicted of breaking the Official Secrets Act and were sentenced to seven years in jail last September. Their imprisonment was widely condemned and was considered to be “damaging” to the press freedom in the country. Also Read - On India's Request, Myanmar Hands Over 22 Northeast Insurgents Long-wanted in Manipur And Assam; Special Plane Bringing Them Back
The conviction had come after they reported that state security forces executed 10 Muslim Rohingya during a military operation in 2017. Prosecutors said that the two journalists had classified information regarding security operations in Rakhine state, from where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled during an army-led crackdown the United Nations has dubbed “ethnic cleansing”.
Meanwhile, in the month of May, the two journalists bagged Pulitzer Prizes for their investigative report that revealed the massacre of the 10 Muslim Rohingya men and for capturing photographs of Central American migrants seeking refuge in the United States. While two of the photos showed the 10 Rohingya men bound and kneeling, the third showed the mutilated and bullet-ridden bodies of the same 10 men in the shallow grave.
Reuters has won seven Pulitzers so far since 2008. This year’s award was under the international reporting category for revealing the Rohingya massacre that took place at the village of Inn Din, in the heart of the conflict zone of Rakhine state in Myanmar.
(With agency inputs)