GENEVA / MYANMAR JOURNALISTS REAX

07-May-2019 00:01:22
The release of two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar after reporting on the massacre of Rohingya Muslims has been welcomed by the UN human rights office, OHCHR, which has nonetheless said that press freedom there remains “dire”. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / MYANMAR JOURNALISTS REAX
TRT: 1:22
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 07 MAY 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations
2. Wide Shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, OHCHR:
“It is good news that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been released, but they should never have been arrested and convicted in the first place. We remain concerned about flaws in judicial process that led to their conviction in the first place. And this case is one of many where restrictive legislation have been used to limit the freedom of the press and to silent decent in the country.”
4. Wide shot, podium
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, OHCHR:
“In our report that we put out in September last year, we have put forth a lot of constructive recommendations to the government of Myanmar, to improve the state of freedom of expression in the country. No positive progress has been observed in relation to the recommendations that we had made to them.”
6. Cutaway, reporters
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, OHCHR:
“I can comment on the situation in Myanmar and can say unequivocally that the situation for freedom of expression in the country is dire.”
8. Various shots, press conference
STORYLINE
The release of two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar after reporting on the massacre of Rohingya Muslims has been welcomed by the UN human rights office, OHCHR, which has nonetheless said that press freedom there remains “dire”.

Reuters journalists Wa Lone, who is 33, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, were released from prison Tuesday, after receiving presidential pardon.

They were convicted and sentenced to seven years in jail last September, after being convicted of breaking the Official Secrets Act., while investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men by security forces and Buddhist civilians in western Rakhine State, during an army operation that began in August 2017.

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said that while it was good news that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had been released after more than 500 days in custody, “they should never have been convicted and arrested in the first place”.

“In our report that we put out in September last year, we have put forth a lot of constructive recommendations to the government of Myanmar, to improve the state of freedom of expression in the country. No positive progress has been observed in relation to the recommendations that we had made to them.”

The two journalists were released under a presidential amnesty for more than 6,500 inmates on Tuesday. President Win Myint has pardoned thousands of other prisoners in mass amnesties since last month.

OHCHR maintained concerns about “flaws” in the judicial process that led to the journalists’ conviction, as well as the use of “restrictive legislation…to limit freedom of the press and to silence dissent in the country”.

The report the two men authored, featuring testimony from perpetrators, witnesses and families of the victims, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in May, including the 2019 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
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