Myanmar government says it authorized journalists' arrest

AP News
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Posted: Dec 18, 2017 4:32 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar's presidential spokesman says the president authorized the arrest last week of two Reuters reporters for allegedly violating the state secrets act.

Spokesman Zaw Htay said Monday that President Htin Kyaw, a longtime confidant of de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, approved the arrest of the journalists, adding that "the case will be carried out according to the law."

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested Dec. 12 after police accused them of violating the country's Official Secret Act, which is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, for acquiring "important secret papers" from two policemen. The police officers had worked in Rakhine state, where abuses widely blamed on the military have driven more than 630,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee into neighboring Bangladesh.