Two Reuters journalists imprisoned in Myanmar for reporting on a military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims have been released after spending more than 500 days behind bars.
Reporters Wa Lone, 33, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, walked free Tuesday morning after a presidential pardon, according to Reuters.
A post on the news agency’s Twitter account shows the Burmese journalists leaving Yangon’s infamous Insein Prison.
The two men were arrested in December 2017 and later sentenced to seven years in prison for possessing “state secrets” in what was widely believed to be a set-up.
The journalists had been reporting on violence in the country’s western Rakhine State, where Myanamr’s state security forces have been accused of ethnic cleansing and possible genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
Reuters’ investigation, published in February 2018, documented the slaughter and mass burial of 10 Rohingya men in the village of Inn Din.
Their case caused international outrage and brought heavy criticism to the government of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate who leads Myanmar’s civilian government.
In late April, Myanmar’s Supreme Court rejected the final appeal to release the men and decided to uphold their prison sentences.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were recently recognized as co-winners of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, and along with several other journalists, they were named as TIME’s Person of the Year in 2018.
World – TIME
Reuters: World News