January 10, 2018 / 11:17 AM / 7 months ago

EU calls on Myanmar to free Reuters journalists

BRUSSELS, Jan 10 (Reuters) - The European Union called on the Myanmar authorities to release two Reuters journalists after a court hearing in Yangon on Wednesday at which prosecutors sought charges against them under the Official Secrets Act.

In one of its firmest statements yet, the 28-nation bloc, which is a significant donor to Myanmar, said that the case of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo was an important test for the country’s commitment to developing democracy after years of military rule.

“Having heard the charges brought under the Official Secrets Act of 1923, we continue to expect the Myanmar authorities to ensure the full protection of these journalists’ rights and to release them as quickly as possible,” an EU spokesman said.

“The European Union considers this case an important test for Myanmar’s commitment to press freedom, an independent judiciary and the development of democratic institutions.” (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Alastair Macdonald)

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