Amal Clooney to represent jailed Reuters reporters in Myanmar

Amal Clooney to represent jailed Reuters reporters in Myanmar
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Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has joined the legal team representing two Reuters journalists who have been jailed in Myanmar since December, her office announced Thursday. 

Clooney, who is married to actor George Clooney, said in a statement released by her law firm that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo “are being prosecuted simply because they reported the news.” Their case file indicates they should be released immediately, she argued. 

“The outcome of this case will tell us a lot about Myanmar’s commitment to the rule of law and freedom of speech,” Clooney said.

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Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been imprisoned since Dec. 12. The two were arrested under the British colonial-era Official Secrets Act while reporting on Myanmar's military crackdown that has led to more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing the country to neighboring Bangladesh. 

Reuters reported that a court in northern Yangon will hear arguments Wednesday on the motion to dismiss the case.

The U.S. State Department has called for the journalists’ release and expressed concerns about their treatment.

Officials in Bangladesh have also condemned the arrests.

Myanmar's government is facing international criticism for its handling of the Rohingya population, which it has dismissed as a result of inaccurate reporting.

The United Nations has called the government's treatment of the Rohingya “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing."