Myanmar people deserve country where journalists are free to do their job: EU

Reuters journalists Wa Lone, 32, and (right) Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, after their sentencing. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) Sep 13, 2018, 05.45 PM (IST)

The Myanmar people deserve a country where journalists are free to do their job and where all citizens have the same rights, the European Union's foreign policy chief said on Thursday.

Federica Mogherini was speaking in the European Parliament as the union's lawmakers were about to pass a resolution on the situation in Myanmar.

In the resolution, EU lawmakers call for the dropping of charges and the immediate and unconditional release of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were sentenced to seven years in prison for breaking the Official Secrets Act.

The two reporters, who had pleaded not guilty, were investigating the killing of 10 villagers from the Muslim Rohingya minority by the Myanmar security forces at the time of their arrest.

The military later acknowledged the killings and said it punished several soldiers.

Mogherini also warned the Myanmar authorities that to preserve the current trade arrangements between Myanmar and the EU, "decisive action to improve the situation" was needed.