Reuters chief expresses dismay at decision to prosecute two Reuters reporters

A Rohingya refugee child from Myanmar cuts bamboo at the Thankhali refugee camp in Ukhia Cox's Bazar southeastern Bangladesh Nov. 15 2017

Reuters chief expresses dismay at decision to prosecute two Reuters reporters

The militants were forced to flee and an exodus of some 650,000 Rohingya villagers to Bangladesh followed.

The military statement says the captives should have been handed over to police.

Human right groups around the world have accused the Myanmar government of carrying out a genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority for years.

"These charges are a travesty of justice and should be dropped", said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

With access to the area limited, proof of killings has been hard to establish.

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"The Reuters journalists being held in Myanmar should be released immediately".

PROSECUTORS in Burma (Myanmar) have sought maximum charges against two Reuters reporters charged under the country's Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.

"We would like to ask the Myanmar government to determine citizenship according to these documents", he said. "The Rohingya portion of the village has been completely burned to the ground, whereas non-Rohningya buildings very nearby have been completely untouched".

Myanmar's military acknowledged Wednesday that its security forces and Buddhist villagers killed 10 Rohingya Muslims whose bodies were found in a mass grave in a village in troubled Rakhine state. The statement went on to claim that the soldiers involved were responding to provocations but added that they would be dealt with by the military.

"The army will take charge of those who are responsible for the killings and who broke the rules of engagement". "This incident happened because ethnic Buddhist villagers were threatened and provoked by the terrorists". After they were detained, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the arrests showed how press freedom was deteriorating in Myanmar, while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for their immediate release.

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Japan wants to raise the matter of the two reporters with the Myanmar government at appropriate opportunities, including a visit by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono this week, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in Tokyo.

The refugees complain that they have not been consulted on the plan.

"It was found that there were no conditions to transfer the 10 Bengali terrorists to the police station and so it was made a decision to kill them", it said. Several had the message "journalism is not a crime" or "release the arrested journalists now" on their T-shirts.

"This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing". "However, it is only the tip of the iceberg and warrants serious independent investigation into what other atrocities were committed amid the ethnic cleansing campaign". But after the United Nations requested Myanmar to allow officials to enter the country so that accusations of human rights abuse could be investigated, Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, said that the country would carry its own investigation, refusing to let the United Nations in. "That is precisely why you need global observers and investigators involved now", he added.

Author information: Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post.

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