Myanmar Frees Journalists Who Were Jailed After Reporting A Massacre

Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been freed in Myanmar after spending over 500 days behind bars.
Posted at 3:49 PM, May 07, 2019

Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been released by Myanmar's government after spending over 500 days in jail. The reporters were arrested while investigating a mass killing of Rohingya Muslims. 

The two reporters were covering a massacre at Inn Din village in Myanmar's Rakhine state: 10 villagers executed and buried in a mass grave, reportedly with the military's involvement. They gathered testimony from witnesses, families of the victims — and even some of the alleged perpetrators.

But before they could publish their work, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested and accused of possessing state secrets, charges which could carry seven years in prison. The journalists were eventually freed by the country's president during a wave of amnesty for 6,250 prisoners. Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler said of their release: "Since their arrests 511 days ago, [Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo] have become symbols of the importance of press freedom around the world. We welcome their return."

Newsy spoke with Reuters' Myanmar bureau chief Antoni Slodkowski about the process of reporting the story and how the journalists had fared since their arrest.

Additional reporting from Reuters.