World News

Myanmar jailing of Reuters journalists "harsh setback" for media freedom - Germany

People march to show solidarity for jailed Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo two days before a local court is due to deliver verdict against them on charges of breaching the country's Official Secrets Act in Yangon, Myanmar, September 1, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government’s human rights commissioner on Monday called the conviction of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar for their reporting of the Rohingya crisis “a harsh setback” for freedom of the press in the southeastern Asia country.

A Myanmar judge has found Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo guilty of breaching a law on state secrets and jailed them for seven years.

Baerbel Kofler, human rights commissioner for the German government, said she was crushed to hear the news and expressed concern that the conviction would intimidate other journalists. “The two journalists... did nothing but support the search for truth in Rakhine (state),” she said.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Joseph Nasr