Two Reuters journalists missing in Myanmar

Two Reuters journalists missing in Myanmar


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Local journalists say a ‘climate of fear’ is returning to the media

Two Reuters journalists are missing in Myanmar, with local media suggesting they have been detained by police.

The international news agency told the BBC they “have filed a missing person’s report and are doing everything we can to locate them”.

The two journalists are named as Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. Reports say they were held near Yangon late on Tuesday.

Myanmar has seen increasing curbs on press freedom, especially on issues around the powerful military.

According to local paper Frontier Myanmar, the two were arrested on the outskirts of the commercial capital after being found in possession of military reports and a map of a location in northern Rakhine state.

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Reports say they have been held under the Official Secrets Act. If found guilty they could be jailed for up to 14 years, The Irrawaddy said.

Rakhine has been the site of months of conflict, with government troops in the Buddhist-majority country accused of targeting the Muslim Rohingya population.

Violence broke out on 25 August when Rohingya militants launched attacks on police posts in the state, killing 12 security personnel.

More than half a million Rohingya have since fled the violence to neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar (also called Burma) has been widely condemned by the international community for its brutal crackdown.

Journalists’ access to the affected areas has been tightly controlled by the military.

In November, two foreign journalists were arrested while local journalists describe “a climate of fear” returning to the country’s independent media.


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