Journalism When Government Crime is Secret
If a journalist writes about a secret, it is because a source gave up the secret. The journalist did not commit a crime. This must always be true or government will officially make its crime, a secret.
Myanmar Rigs Evidence, Convicts Journalists. They must be released.
After a month, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are still not free from prison. They are in Myanmar. The Reuters reporters were able to prove extrajudicial killings. That crime may be somewhat of a global epidemic these days, so their job was important to all of us. They were imprisoned by a brutal and corrupt government that has been accused by UN investigators of horrific human rights crimes like genocide. The world is outraged and wants the two reporters freed.
Families of the wrongfully imprisoned Reuters Journalists suffer immensely, especially the children say Pan Ei Mon (left) and Chit Su Win who spoke at a press conference in Yangon, Myanmar at the beginning of the month. Photograph: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA
Two Scribes on top of the Myanmar EJKs Ahead of Everyone
It’s a journalist’s job to obtain and report information. They provide that service to the public’s need for truthful, relevant information about its communities and the world.
Journalists keep some public servants and elected public policymakers honest.
But some politicians don’t like that. Under orders from Myanmar military officials, we suspect, as do others, Yangon’s northern district judge Ye Lwin was ordered by government and did rule that Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, breached the arcane Myanmar Official Secrets Act when they obtained the planted documents. No other persons were charged in the matter.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo should be allowed to return to their families and continue their work as journalists. – UN Resident Coordinator to Myanmar
Outside the Court Room in Yangon September 3 2018 – Photo Credit: Screen capture YouTube – Guardian.
Aung San Suu Kyi who is the incumbent State Counsellor, titular head of the nation of Myanmar and she says, “the case has been held in open court. If anyone feels there has been a miscarriage of justice, I would like them to point it out.” We do.
Amal Clooney, the human rights lawyer, has done just that appealing to the Myanmar leader to pardon Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. The two men, accused of breaching Myanmar’s state secrets law while reporting on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims, were jailed for seven years a month ago. Clooney said the reporters were arrested in an attempt by Myanmar to keep Reuters from publishing a story on the extrajudicial killings of 10 Rohingya men and boys. Upon discovering the story, the Myanmar Generals running the country framed the two reporters by planting so-called evidence. Watch the video.
Amal Clooney, lawyer for Reuters reporters, Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, urges Aung San Suu Kyi to pardon Reuters journalists. Video report, Guardian News.
September 3, 2018 UN Myanmar – A free press is essential for peace, justice and human rights for all. We are disappointed by today’s court decision. The United Nations has consistently called for the release of the Reuters journalists and urged the authorities to respect their right to pursue freedom of expression and information. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo should be allowed to return to their families and continue their work as journalists.
Most reporters who cover world affairs, agree that there is a grave attack on accountability in the act of trying to cover up crimes by persecuting journalists and law enforcement members who try to uncover them. There is an abiding need to inform the public when the checks and balances against government misconduct are failing for any reason. In this case they are failing because of the misconduct of government.
If a journalist writes about a secret, it is because a person responsible gave up the secret. The journalist did not commit a crime. This must always be held true or government will make its crime, a secret.