Skip to main content

U.S. Politics Eleven U.S. senators urge Pompeo to press for release of Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar

Eleven Republican and Democratic U.S. senators urged President Donald Trump’s administration to “use all tools at your disposal,” including imposing more economic sanctions, to ensure “the immediate, unconditional” release of two Reuters journalists imprisoned in Myanmar.

“We write today with great concern regarding the case of two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were wrongfully detained and sentenced to seven years in prison in Burma,” the senators, led by Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Jeff Merkley, both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which was seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

The letter was signed by six Democrats and five Republicans.

Story continues below advertisement

The journalists were found guilty on official secrets charges and sentenced earlier this month in a landmark case seen as a test of progress toward democracy in Myanmar. The country, also known as Burma, was ruled by a military junta until 2011.

The government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has come under increasing diplomatic pressure over a security crackdown sparked by attacks by Rohingya Muslim insurgents on security forces in Rakhine State in west Myanmar in August 2017.

The journalists were investigating the killing of Rohingya villagers by security forces at the time of their arrest last December, and had pleaded not guilty.

Their imprisonment has prompted an international outpouring of support, including a call for their release by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

The senators said they appreciated Pompeo raising the case in August with Myanmar’s foreign minister, Kyaw Tin, and calling for their immediate release, but said there should be further action.

Last month, the United States imposed sanctions on four Myanmar military and police commanders and two army units, accusing them of “ethnic cleansing” against Rohingya Muslims and widespread human rights abuses.

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter