July 2, 2018 / 4:58 PM / 9 months ago

Read the defense argument for Reuters reporters detained in Myanmar

Detained Reuters journalist Wa Lone is escorted by police while leaving Insein court in Yangon, Myanmar July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang

The petition for dismissal explains that there is no basis to charge Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo under the Official Secrets Act. To charge them, the court would have to find evidence that the reporters collected secret government papers to aid an enemy of and harm Myanmar. None of these necessary evidentiary showings are present here. The papers are not secret, the prosecutor has not identified an “enemy” or provided any proof that the journalists were collaborating with an enemy, and at all times they were acting as journalists, not adversaries of their country.

Most critically, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo did not “collect” the allegedly secret papers, as required under the Official Secrets Act. Instead, as explained by a police officer and corroborated by other witnesses, a police officer planted the papers on Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo just moments before their arrest, which was pre-planned and orchestrated by local police in response to their reporting about activities of security forces in the Rakhine State. Under these facts, the prosecutor has not upheld its burden to show there is a basis for charges, and this matter should be dismissed.

Read the complete motion to dismiss tmsnrt.rs/2NfcCkR

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