The European Union on Tuesday called on Myanmar to release detained Reuters journalists “as quickly as possible”.
“We expect the Myanmar authorities to ensure the full protection of their rights and to release the journalists as quickly as possible,” EU Commission’s chief spokesman Margaritis Schinas said in a press conference in Brussels.
“Freedom of the press and media is the foundation and cornerstone of any democracy,” Schinas said.
Two journalists, Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested last Tuesday in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon.
Reuters President and Editor-In-Chief Stephen J. Adler said in a statement that they have been denied access to the journalists “or to the most basic information about their well-being and whereabouts”.
“Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are journalists who perform a crucial role in shedding light on news of global interest, and they are innocent of any wrongdoing,” Adler added.
Myanmar authorities claimed the journalists violated the country’s “Official Secrets Act” against espionage and the leaking of sensitive government information, mainly related to national security.
Also on Oct. 27, a Myanmar court jailed two journalists working for a Turkish news channel, sentencing them to two months of hard labor after being arrested for possessing an aerial drone.