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Myanmar top court rejects Reuters’ journalists appeal against sentence

Myanmar’s top court has rejected an appeal by two Reuters journalists jailed on charges of being in possession of secret official documents.

The two journalists were investigation killings of 10 Rohingya Muslims in a military operation.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years last September in a case condemned around the world.

They had revealed that state security forces executed 10 Muslim Rohingya during a military operation in 2017.

A lower court had rejected their initial appeal before it was brought to the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday Supreme Court Justice Soe Naing ruled that the sentence handed down to them by the lower court will stay.

“They were sentenced for seven years and this decision stands,” the judge ruled.

The pair have been in prison for more than a year for breaking Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act.

They were arrested carrying official documents handed to them by police officers. Both maintain their innocence and say the authorities set them up.

“I [felt] hurt when the court rejected the appeal. I’m very sad as the verdict was not what I expected,” Chit Suu Win, the wife of Kyaw Soe Oo told BBC Burmese.

“He [Kyaw] and I expected good news.”

When arrested, the two were investigating a mass execution of Rohingya, hundreds of thousands of whom have been forced to flee destruction and persecution in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar (also called Burma).

The pair’s lawyer said the verdict had “damaged” freedom of the press in the country.

“We regret it very much not only for them but for the prestige of the country, for freedom of the press,” Khin Maung Zaw told the BBC. “All are damaged by this verdict.”

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