The international outpouring of support has been unwavering. With calls to release Reuters' journalist, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, sentenced to seven years in jail in Myanmar. Their case, seen as an attack on global press freedom.>> And we will not be intimidated.>> That sentiment shared on Friday when Reuters' editor-in-chief, Steve Adler and attorney Amal Clooney took part in a panel discussion with a committee to protect journalists at the UN.
>> There comes a time when you can't really be quiet anymore and people should be speaking out.>> Over the mistreatment of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo is not just about these two reporters, or about Reuters or even about Myanmar, the attack on them is a chilling warning to other journalists worldwide.
At the end of last year, there were 262 journalists jailed around the world, the highest number ever recorded by CPJ.>> Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were investigating the killing of Rohingya villagers by security forces during the time of their arrest last December. In testimony, the reporters said two policemen handed them papers at a restaurant, moments before other officers arrested them.
A judge ruled they breached the colonial era official secrets act when they handled documents related to security forces, charges to which they have pleaded not guilty.>> Your arrest was clearly aimed at unmasking Reuters sources, and preventing us from publishing the account of the massacre. Intimidation was severe.
Our reporters were handcuffed, hooded, continuously interrogated, threatened, and denied sleep.>> This case began with authorization from the government at the highest level all the way up to the President's office. And the government can, if it wants to, end this today.>> US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on Friday reiterated calls for Myanmar's government to immediately release the journalist.
In late August, UN investigators issued a report accusing Myanmar's military of acting with genocidal intent in their a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, which sent almost 700,000 of them fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh. Myanmar rejected the report, saying the international community was making false allegations.