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Theatre dedicates play to the two imprisoned Reuters reporters

Tara Theatre in London has dedicated a three-week run of Eastern Star, a play about freedom of expression in Myanmar, to the two Reuters journalists given seven-year sentences today in Yangon, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.

Announcing the dedication, Jatinder Verma, artistic director of Tara Arts, said” “When we planned this run, we had no idea that Eastern Star would become so painfully current. The sentences handed down to these two men is truly shocking even by the standards of justice we have come to expect in Myanmar today. They must be released immediately.”

A petition book calling on the authorities in Myanmar to release Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo will be available for theatregoers and members of the public to sign. At the end of the three-week run, which begins on 11 September Jatinder Verma will present the petition to the British foreign and commonwealth office.

Eastern Star by Guy Slater tells the story of a BBC journalist, Christopher Gunness, who reported on the Burmese democracy uprising in 1988 and whose main source was imprisoned for 16 years.

“I call on all artists sign the petition”, said Verma. “I call on our elected representatives, I call on all people of conscience to join this campaign and sign up to raise our voices in support of U Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. They are guilty of nothing but the crime of journalism. Their sentences cannot be allowed to stand”.

For details of where the petition can be signed, go to ■