The EU urges Myanmar to release detained journalists Reuters

© RIA Novosti / Fedor Wildermann. Archival photoThe EU urges Myanmar to release detained journalists Reuters© RIA Novosti / Fedor Vilner

The European Union calls on the Myanmar authorities to release journalists of the news Agency Reuters who were detained last week in Yangon, «as soon as possible,» according to a statement the head of EU diplomacy Federica Mogherini.

«The recent arrest in Yangon two journalists working for the news Agency Reuters, this is cause for serious concern. We expect that the Myanmar authorities will provide full protection of their rights and release the journalists as soon as possible,» — said in a statement.

In a statement, Mogherini urged the Myanmar government to bring to justice all perpetrators of violations of human rights in Rakhine state.

Earlier, Reuters reported that the journalists were arrested on 12 December in the largest city of Myanmar, Yangon, the reason for detention was not reported.

As reported by the local newspaper the Myanmar Frontier, the police stopped journalists late in the evening in one of the outlying areas of the city and searched them. During the inspection the men discovered two military report and a map of villages in Rakhine state which is currently engulfed in conflict. In this regard, they are suspected of illegal possession of military documents. The maximum penalty for this offence is 14 years imprisonment.

An employee of the Agency To VA LON (Lone Wa Ko) has previously worked in the newspaper Myanmar Times. He joined the staff of Reuters in July 2016. His colleague Ko Chia With OO (Ko Kyaw Soe Oo), according to the Myanmar Frontier, was helping the Agency when covering events in Rakhine state, what he did and To VA LON.

More than half a million Rohingya, an ethnic Bengali Muslims living in Rakhine state in Myanmar fled to the border areas of neighboring Bangladesh over the past three months after an organized attack by militants Rohingya people in Myanmar’s border posts and military units and large-scale response operation Myanmar military.