]>> Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday defended a Myanmar court's decision to jail two Reuters journalists, saying they can appeal their seven year sentence and that their jailing had nothing to do with freedom of expression. When asked how she felt about jailing journalists as a democratic leader, she said they weren't jailed because they were journalists.
>> Sentence has been passed on them because the court has decided that they had broken the Official Secrets Act.>> She made her comments in Vietnam at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, where the moderator asked whether she felt comfortable about the reporters being jailed. The journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, were found guilty on official secrets charges and sentenced earlier this month in a landmark case.
Their imprisonment has prompted an international outpouring of support including a call for their release by US Vice President, Mike Pence. Suu Kyi was asked to comment on what Pence had said.>> The case has been held in open court. And all the hearings have been open to everybody who wished to go and attend them.
And if anybody feels that they has new miscarriage of justice, I would like them to point it out.>> The journalists was investigating the killing of Rohingya villagers by security forces during the time of their arrest last December. They had pleaded not guilty. Earlier on Thursday, Suu Kyi, at the same forum, said in hindsight, her government could have handled the situation in Rakhine State better.
Some 700,000 Rohingya muslims have fled Rakhine after a brutal government-led crackdown. UN investigators last month said Myanmar's military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya with, quote, genocidal intent. They recommended that the Commander-in-chief and five generals be prosecuted under international law. Myanmar has denied allegations of atrocities, saying its military carried out justifiable actions against militants.