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Release our reporters - Stephen Adler

Editor-in-chief Stephen Adler reiterated a call for the immediate release of two Reuters reporters (photo) arrested in Myanmar.

“It has been a week since Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested. We and their families continue to be denied access to them or to the most basic information about their well-being and whereabouts,” he said in a statement issued after learning the government has authorised police to proceed with a case against them.

“Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are journalists who perform a crucial role in shedding light on news of global interest, and they are innocent of any wrongdoing. We are grateful for the widespread expressions of support and we call for their immediate release.”

Myanmar’s Ministry of Information said on Wednesday that the two reporters and two policemen faced charges under the British colonial-era Official Secrets Act of 1923 which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.

The two journalists had worked on stories about a military crackdown in Rakhine state, which has triggered the flight of more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to southern Bangladesh since the end of August.

Many international organisations and foreign governments have called for their release. ■