Navigation

Journalists facing charges under Myanmar colonial-era Official Secrets Act

ReutersYANGON (Reuters) — Myanmar prosecutors sought charges on Wednesday against two Reuters reporters under the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years, the reporters’ lawyer said.

Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were detained on Dec. 12 after they had been invited to meet police officers over dinner. Family members have said the two told them they were arrested almost immediately after being handed some documents by the officers they had gone to meet.

“They arrested us and took action against us because we were trying to reveal the truth,” Wa Lone said as he and Kyaw Soe Oo were led out of the court and back to Yangon’s Insein prison after the 30-minute hearing.

Khin Maung Zaw, a lawyer representing the two journalists, said the charges being sought came under Section 3.1 (c) of the British colonial-era Official Secrets Act.

The act dates back to 1923, when Myanmar, then known as Burma, was a province of British India.

Section 3 covers entering prohibited places, taking images or handling secret official documents that “might be or is intended to be, directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy.”Speech

Click to play

0:00/-:--

+ -

Generating speech. Please wait...

Become a Premium Member to use this service.

Become a Premium Member to use this service.

Offline error: please try again.