US Embassy presses Myanmar on jailed journalists

US Embassy presses Myanmar on jailed journalists
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The U.S. Embassy in Myanmar on Friday sought to up pressure on the country's government over the whereabouts of two Reuters journalists who have been held captive for days, according to reports.

The two journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, were detained under the British colonial-era Official Secrets Act on Tuesday evening while reporting on the country's military crackdown, which has caused more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

“We remain concerned about Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo,” the U.S. Embassy said on Facebook, Reuters reported. “Their families and others have not been allowed to see them, and don’t even know where they are being held.”


Officials in Bangladesh also condemned the arrests by its neighbor, calling on Myanmar to release the journalists so they may "depict the truth" about the country's Rohingya crisis, which the U.S. government has described as "ethnic cleansing."

“We strongly denounce arrests of Reuters journalists and feel that those reporters [should] be free immediately so that they can depict the truth to the world by their reporting,” a Bangladeshi official said in a statement.

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 Rohingyas “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing."

The two reporters have not been charged yet and can remain in a Myanmar prison cell for up to 28 days without being charged under the country's laws.