A court in Myanmar has delayed its ruling on two Reuters journalists accused of violating a state secrets act while investigating violence against Rohingyas. An official said the verdict would now be given on 3 September, owing to the judge’s poor health. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested last year while carrying official documents given to them by police. The men, who deny all charges, face up to 14 years in jail if found guilty. Both men have been in jail since December.
“Whatever they decide for us, we will not be afraid,” Wa Lone said while leaving the courthouse, AFP reported. He has previously said their work followed all media ethics and that they “tried to tell the truth based on the real situation”. The verdict comes a year after the long-running crisis in Rakhine state came to a head when a previously unknown Rohingya militant group staged deadly attacks on police posts.
The military responded with a large-scale deadly operation against the Rohingya, which the UN has said was intended to drive them out of the country for good. Media access to Rakhine is strictly controlled by the government so it is difficult to get reliable news from the region.