Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been selected by the National Press Club and its nonprofit Journalism Institute to receive the 2018 Aubuchon Press Freedom Award. The award honors people whose actions embody the struggle to advance press freedom and open government. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been detained in Myanmar since December 12 and are accused of violating the country’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act.
In the announcement, National Press Club president Andrea Edney said: “Abuses of press freedoms are growing in places as disparate as Myanmar, Turkey and Mexico and as unexpected as our own United States, making the security of reporters and, by extension, the rights of the public, more important than ever. The work of reporters like Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo is crucial to the right of citizens to hold their elected officials accountable.”
“If the Myanmar government wishes to become a stable, prosperous and thriving nation, it must accept that freedom of the press and respect for human rights is an integral part of achieving that,” said Barbara Cochran, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo will be honored at the National Press Club’s annual Fourth Estate Award gala in the fall.
Reuters recently published the investigation that prompted Myanmar police authorities to arrest Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. You can read the full report here .
[Reuters Press Blog]
Heather dot Carpenter at thomsonreuters dot com