July 9, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the court ruling in the case of two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar in December 2017:
“Canada is deeply concerned by today’s court decision to charge Reuters journalists under the Official Secrets Act for obtaining secret documents, after a six-month pretrial phase. This decision casts a dark shadow on press freedom and human rights in Myanmar. Canada joins with the international community in continuing to call for the journalists’ immediate release.
“Respect for human rights and freedom of the press are essential. To charge the Reuters journalists under these circumstances gravely undermines freedom of expression.
“The media play a central role in defending, exposing and advancing the truth. Journalists must have the ability to report facts to the public without obstruction or risk of violence and imprisonment. Canada will use every opportunity to promote and defend freedom of expression around the world.
“We commend Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo for bravely documenting the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, a crime against humanity that must not be covered up.”