Two Reuters journalists imprisoned in Myanmar for their reporting have been pardoned and released after spending more than 500 days in jail.
The arrests of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had drawn condemnation from rights groups, Western governments and press associations. The two journalists had gained several awards and other honors. In April, they shared with their Reuters colleagues the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. One of the highest honors in journalism.
They were released under a presidential amnesty for 6,520 prisoners on Tuesday. President Win Myint has pardoned thousands of other prisoners in mass amnesties since last month. Reuters has said the two men did not commit any crime and had called for their release.
Speaking moments after his release, Wa Lone said. “I’m really happy and excited to see my family and my colleagues. I can’t wait to go to my newsroom. I am a journalist and I am going to continue to be.”
Kyaw Soe Oo was pictured holding his daughter, three-year-old Moe Thin Wai Zan, tightly. His wife, Chit Su Win said: “Now the three of us can hug each other and we are so happy for that.”
The Reuters reporters had worked on an investigation of the killings of 10 Rohingya villagers in Inn Din village. For which the government last year, said seven soldiers were sentenced to up 10 years in prison with hard labor.