School of Law

Professor Penny Green comments on press freedom in Myanmar

24 April 2019

Myanmar’s top court has rejected the appeal of two Reuters reporters sentenced to seven years in jail for breaking the Official Secrets Act, in a landmark case that has raised questions about the country’s transition to democracy. Wa Lone, 33, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, have spent more than 16 months in detention since they were arrested in December 2017 while working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys.

Professor Penny Green, Co-director of Queen Mary’s International State Crime Initiative said: “This shows the hollowness of Aung San Suu Kyi’s so-called commitment to the rule of law. It is not something unexpected unfortunately. I think it tells us of the drastic limitations to press freedom in Myanmar but it also tells us that the judicial system, the criminal justice system, is one that is extremely problematic […] This is not a completely isolated case. The Myanmar state has restricted press freedom throughout the whole genocidal programme against the Rohingya.” (Link to recording expired).