January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the verdict in the appeal of the convictions of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar:
“Canada is seriously alarmed by today’s court decision to uphold the imprisonment of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. For investigating and exposing the atrocities committed by Myanmar’s military as part of the genocide carried out against the Rohingya people, these two journalists have been detained since December 2017 and were sentenced to seven years in prison in September 2018, under Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act.
“Today’s verdict undermines democracy in Myanmar and sends a chilling message to all journalists in Myanmar. We cannot stand by and accept this antidemocratic decision.
“An independent media must be defended as a central institution of democracy. Journalists must have the freedom to report the facts and to defend, expose and advance the truth without fear of retaliation, violence, imprisonment or being killed. Any country that rejects these vital preconditions for democratic success cannot reach its full potential.
“Canada joins the international community in reiterating our call for the immediate release of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo so they may regain their freedom and continue their vital work.”