Canada profoundly disappointed by verdict against Reuters journalists in Myanmar


September 3, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the verdict delivered in the trial of two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar in December 2017 and charged in July 2018 for obtaining secret documents:

“Canada is profoundly disappointed by a court decision to convict and sentence Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo to seven years in jail under Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act. This verdict gravely undermines the rule of law and freedom of the press in Myanmar, and betrays the decades-long struggle by the Myanmar people for democracy.

“Today’s ruling does not reflect the facts of the case. The verdict seriously jeopardises the prospects for freedom of expression and democracy, and the fair and transparent application of law in Myanmar, both now and in the future.

“In any democracy, journalists must have the ability to report facts freely, to defend, expose and advance the truth without fear of retaliation, reprisal, violence or imprisonment.

“Canada joins the international community in strongly reiterating our calls for the immediate release of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who have already been detained for eight months, so that they can rejoin their families and continue their vital work.

“Canada will use every opportunity to promote and defend human rights and freedom of expression around the world.”


Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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