Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo celebrates with wife Chit Su Win and their daughter after being released from prison after a presidential pardon, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Yangon, Myanmar. The two journalists Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were imprisoned for breaking Myanmar's Official Secrets Act over reporting on security forces' abuses of Rohingya Muslims were pardoned Tuesday, the prison chief and witnesses said. (Ann Wang/Pool Photo via AP)

UN office hails Myanmar journalists' release, with a caveat

May 07, 2019 - 7:00 am

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. human rights office is praising the release of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo from prison in Myanmar, but says a "very dire situation" remains for freedom of expression in the Asian country.

Rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani hailed "good news" but insisted that the two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists "should never have been convicted in the first place."

The journalists were pardoned and released on Tuesday. They had been convicted of violating Myanmar's Official Secrets Act over reporting on security forces' abuses of Rohingya Muslims.

Shamdasani cited a rights office report in September, after the convictions, that laid out "very constructive recommendations" to Myanmar's government to improve freedom of expression.

She said there has been "no positive progress" in relation to those recommendations.

AP Editorial Categories: