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SPJ condemns the sentencing of two Reuters journalists


Rebecca Baker, SPJ President, rbaker@spj.org
Isaac Taylor, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, itaylor@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists strongly condemns the recent conviction of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, have been detained since December 2017 after investigating mass killings. SPJ and Reuters stand by the reporters’ investigation which provided evidence of the massacre.

"This sentence is a step backward for the rights of a free press, not only in Myanmar but around the world," SPJ president Rebecca Baker said. "Journalism is not a crime, and its practitioners should be allowed to do their jobs without fear of arrest or violence. SPJ urges the Myanmar government to rescind the sentence or commute it to time served and release the Reuters journalists immediately."

Threats to press freedom, both domestic and foreign, threaten all press freedom. Reuters is currently in the process of searching for legal aid to help Lone and Oo.

"We're going to fight very, very hard for their freedom,” Stephen Adler, editor-in-chief of Reuters, told CNN. “We don't think they should be in prison one additional day. They've already been in prison for nine months for something they didn't do."

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund, or give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.


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