缅甸法院即将决定在押路透社记者的命运 Myanmar Judge to Decide Fate of Jailed Journalists

缅甸一家法院下星期将裁决为路透社工作的两位新闻记者是否将面临审判。这两名记者报道了罗兴亚人的危机,被指违反了缅甸的保密法。

32岁的瓦龙(Wa Lone)和28岁的觉梭(Kyaw Soe Oo)被指违反缅甸的“官方保密法”,最多可被判处14年徒刑。

这两人去年12月被逮捕以来一直在押。他们被指控持有与若开邦危机中一次军事镇压有关的被泄露的秘密材料。在缅甸人口占少数的罗兴亚穆斯林居住在若开邦。

瓦龙和觉梭的被捕引发国际人权组织的猛烈批评。

被告律师团在星期一的预审庭议上要求法官取消指控,因为检控方未能提供证明他们违法的足够证据。

这两名记者在仰光北部与两名他们说以前从未谋面的警察会面。他们后来对亲属说,他们刚拿到一些文件就被立即逮捕。

人权观察再次呼吁释放这两名记者。

路透社总裁兼总编阿德勒说,这个案件现在处于一个“至关重要的十字路口”。

阿德勒在一份声明中说:“在任何民主体制中,新闻自由都不可或缺。如果没有证明有违法行为的证据就起诉瓦龙和觉梭,就会严重破坏缅甸宪法对新闻自由的保护。”

A court in Myanmar will rule next week whether two journalists for the Reuters news agency will face trial for allegedly breaking the country's secrecy laws by reporting on the Rohingya crisis.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, are accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

The pair has been held in custody since their arrest in December and are accused of being in possession of leaked sensitive material linked to a military crackdown in crisis-hit Rakhine state, home to Myanmar's minority Muslim Rohingya population.

Their detention has prompted an outcry among international human rights groups.

Defense lawyers asked the judge at a pretrial hearing Monday to drop the charges, saying the prosecution had failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove their case.

The reporters were meeting with two police officers they say they had never met before in northern Yangon. The men later told relatives that as soon as they were handed some papers, they were arrested almost immediately.

Human Rights Watch again called for the release of the journalists.

Reuters President and Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said this was a "critical juncture" in the case.

"Freedom of the press is essential in any democracy, and to charge Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo under these circumstances, without any proof of their having done anything unlawful, would seriously undermine Myanmar's constitutional guarantee of free speech," Adler said in a statement.