Statement of PEN Myanmar (2/2019)

Statement of PEN Myanmar (2/2019), 7th of May 2019, Yangon, Myanmar

PEN Myanmar welcomes the President’s amnesty 16/2019 that released the two Reuter’s reporters

 

  1. On 7th May 2019, 6520 prisoners including the two Reuter’s reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were released according to the President’s amnesty 16/2019.

 

  1. While the court decided to continue full trial for PEN/Barbey 2018 Freedom to Write award and UNESCO 2019 Guillermo Cano award winners Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, PEN Myanmar released a statement(4/2018) on 10th July 2018 urging the court to seriously consider freedom of expression issue for this trial.

 

  1. When the reporters were imprisoned for 7 years, PEN Myanmar released another statement (5/2018) on 3rd September 2018. In that statement, PEN Myanmar urged the court to reconsider the verdict because it imperils journalists’ access to information as well as the public’s right to information, and raises serious concerns about freedom of expression in Myanmar.
  1. The journalists were innocent but were nonetheless imprisoned for more than 500 days. There were many criticisms to the current government all over the world for their imprisonment. It could be said that many questions to the existing laws and the justice system were raised.
  1. Nonetheless, the President’s amnesty had applied with no condition like article 401(1) states its aim to respect humanity and to support peace and reconciliation process. And this help two journalists return back to their families as well as their working environment.
  2. PEN Myanmar welcomes and supports the amnesty of the president on 17th & 26th April and on 7th May which includes release of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe OO among 22,403 prisoners, as the representation of the new year of Myanmar, and it is a good news not only to the media industry but also to the public who experience the benefit of the media freedom.

 

PEN Myanmar Center

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