The bloody incident in Inn Din village on 2 September is the only atrocity to which the military has admitted during its violent crackdown in northern Rakhine state, which has forced some 700,000 Rohingya to flee over the border into Bangladesh since August past year.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested in December. In a rare admission of wrongdoing, the army said the soldiers in question had confessed to killing the men and burying them in a mass grave in the village of Inn Din.
Much attention in the case has focussed on the London-based news wire's coverage of northern Rakhine State, where media access has been severely restricted amid damaging allegations levelled against Burmese security forces - accused by the United Nations of ethnically cleansing the Muslim Rohingya population there.
Police witnesses, however, have said the reporters were stopped and searched at a traffic checkpoint by officers who were unaware they were journalists, and found to be holding in their hands documents relating to security force deployments in Rakhine.
On Tuesday, Myanmar's military announced it had sentenced seven soldiers to 10 years in prison for their part in killings, a case covered by the two reporters, a development both referenced as they left court, contrasting the sentence the soldiers received to the maximum sentence they might receive.
However, the army has repeatedly claimed the Rohingya men were "terrorists", but has not presented any evidence to back up the allegation. "Three soldiers of other rank were demoted to the rank of "private", permanently dismissed from the military and sentenced to 10 years with hard labor at a prison in a remote area", read the military statement.Читайте также: Popular WWE Diva Paige Announced Her Retirement Tonight Due To Injury
Wa Lone referred to the sentencing of the soldiers as he was being directed back into the police van following the hearing.
Reuters president, Stephen J Adler, said in a statement that the company was deeply disappointed with the court's decision.
The case against the journalists has proceeded despite worldwide calls for their release.
"There has been an alarming erosion in press freedom in Myanmar where media workers continue to face threats, intimidation and even jail time simply for doing their jobs".
Family members of the reporters were in tears after the ruling, but Wa Lone, who turned 32 on Wednesday and was brought cake by his friends, still expressed optimism. Some reporters from local and global media brought birthday cake for Wa Lone, whose birthday was on Wedsday, who blew the candles out on the way to the courtroom.
"I had much hope for today's hearing", she said.При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
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