A court in Myanmar has heard an appeal on Monday in the case of the two Reuters reporters jailed for seven years, on charges of breaking the country's official secrets out. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were found guilty in September on a landmark case that's raised questions about Myanmar's progress towards democracy.
And sparked an outcry from diplomats and human rights activists. Defense lawyers filed an appeal against the conviction in November stating evidence of a police set up and a lack of proof of a crime. Reuters' editor in chief Steven J Adler released a statement before the appeal hearing began.
We are looking forward to demonstrating to Myanmar's High Court why it should reverse the convictions of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo due to the egregious errors committed by the trial court in condemning them to prison for seven years. These two journalists did not in any way harm Myanmar.
We will explain to the appellate judge why, under the law, the only possible conclusion is that the appellate court must restore our reporter's freedom and reaffirm Myanmar's democratic principles. Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Chi said in September that jailing the two reporters had nothing to do with freedom of expression.
And after their convictions she said they have been sentenced for handling official secrets. And quote, will not jailed because they were journalists. Before their arrest, the pair had been working on an investigation into the killing of ten Rohinjan Muslim men and boys in a Rhakhine State village. The army crackdown that began in August last year sent more than 700,000 people feeling to Bangladesh.