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Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

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Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by annemarie on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 15:17

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[size=34]Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney agrees to represent two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar over their reporting of the Rohingya massacre[/size]

  • Reporters Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were jailed in Myanmar on Dec 12

  • They'd been part of a Reuters investigation reporting on the Rohingya massacre

  • Amal Clooney has joined their legal team, saying they're innocent beyond doubt 


By DANYAL HUSSAIN FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 08:02 EDT, 29 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:09 EDT, 29 March 2018

    


Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has joined the legal team representing two Reuters reporters who were jailed for their coverage of the Rohingya massacre.
A court in Yangon, Myanmar has been holding hearings since January to decide whether the journalists will be charged under the colonial-era Officials Secrets Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. 
Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, had been working on a Reuters investigation into the killing of ten Rohingya Muslim men in western Myanmar's Rakhine state during an army operation that began in August, which has sent nearly 700,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh.
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Amal Clooney (pictured) has joined the legal team of two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar over their coverage of the Rohingya massacre




The legal team representing the two reporters asked the court to throw out the case on Wednesday, saying there was insufficient evidence to support the charges against them.
Amal Clooney's office has confirmed she is joining the defence team.
In a statement, she was quoted as saying: 'Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are being prosecuted simply because they reported the news. I have reviewed the case file and it is clear beyond doubt that the two journalists are innocent and should be released immediately.
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Detained Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo (pictured centre) is escorted by police as he holds his daughter
'The outcome of this case will tell us a lot about Myanmar's commitment to the rule of law and freedom of speech.'
Zaw Htay, spokesman for Myanmar's civilian government, declined to comment.
Government officials have strenuously denied the arrests represent an attack on press freedom.
However, rights advocates say that there is a growing threat in the Southeast Asian country towards press freedom.
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Reuters journalist Wa Lone (pictured centre) was arrested alongside Kyaw Soe Oo on December 12
Myanmar's ambassador to the United Nations, Hau Do Suan, said last month that the Reuters journalists were not arrested for reporting a story, but were accused of 'illegally possessing confidential government documents'.
Gail Gove, chief counsel of Reuters, said retaining Clooney would strengthen the company's international legal expertise and broaden efforts to secure the release of the reporters.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been in custody since their arrest on December 12.
They have told relatives they were arrested almost immediately after being handed some rolled up papers at a restaurant in northern Yangon by two policemen they had not met before, having been invited to meet the officers for dinner.
The district court in northern Yangon will hear arguments from prosecutors and defence lawyers on the motion to dismiss the case on April 4. 
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Amal Clooney (pictured with her husband George) says that the journalists are innocent beyond doubt 

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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by party animal - not! on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 16:06

Excellent. The Myanmar military government will hate this and all the publicity it brings.Their track record is appalling and the person Amal used to admire the most, Aung San Suu Kyi, has come under fire because of it

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or as this expert for AgenceFrancePresse says:

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.......hopefully she won't make any dangerous trips.....George did say he wondered how long that would last........


Last edited by party animal - not! on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 16:11; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by annemarie on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 16:08

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Myanmar prosecutors seek charges against 2 Reuters reporters

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo face 14 years in prison if convicted in case that has drawn international condemnation

Thomson Reuters · Posted: Jan 10, 2018 9:45 AM ET | Last Updated: January 10


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Reuters journalist Wa Lone is escorted by police uon his arrival at court Wednesday in Yangon, also known as Rangoon. (Thein Zaw/Associated Press)
Myanmar prosecutors sought charges on Wednesday against two Reuters reporters under the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years, the reporters' lawyer said.
Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were detained on Dec. 12 after they had been invited to meet police officers over dinner. Family members have said the two told them they were arrested almost immediately after being handed some documents by the officers they had gone to meet.
The two had worked on Reuters coverage of a crisis in the western state of Rakhine, where, according to UN estimates, about 655,000 Rohingya Muslims fled a fierce military crackdown on militants.
"They arrested us and took action against us because we were trying to reveal the truth," Wa Lone told reporters as he and Kyaw Soe Oo were led out of the court and back to Yangon's Insein prison after the 30-minute hearing.

  • Myanmar journalists to protest over arrest of Reuters reporters




  • ANALYSIS
    A war over words is central to the Rohingya crisis: Nahlah Ayed

[size]
Khin Maung Zaw, a lawyer representing the two journalists, said the charges being sought came under a provision in the British colonial-era Official Secrets Act. The act dates back to 1923, when Myanmar, then known as Burma, was a province of British India.
The section of that act cited covers entering prohibited places, taking images or handling secret official documents that "might be or is intended to be, directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy."
The Ministry of Information had previously cited police as saying they were "arrested for possessing important and secret government documents related to Rakhine State and security forces."
The ministry has said they "illegally acquired information with the intention to share it with foreign media."

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Why are some Buddhist monks inciting hate in the name of defending their faith? The reporter travels across Myanmar and examines the religious and political tensions at the root of the Rohingya refugee and humanitarian crisis. 45:15
The prosecutor objected to an application for bail, the reporters' lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, said. The next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 23, he said.
The government has said two police officers were also arrested for investigation under suspicion of having violated the Official Secrets Act. It has given no further information on the police arrested.
About 30 journalists were outside the court, most dressed in black as a sign of protest against the arrest of the pair. Several had the message "journalism is not a crime" or "release the arrested journalists now" on their T-shirts.

'I never did anything wrong'

In the court, Kyaw Soe Oo embraced his wife and held his daughter for a couple of minutes. His daughter began to weep as he was escorted away and he had to hand her back to other family members.
Wa Lone's wife gave him a few small pieces of cake that she had brought.
"I am trying to be strong in everything. I never made any mistake; I never did anything wrong," Wa Lone said before leaving the court.


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Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo, in handcuffs, talks to supporters as he leaves court Wednesday. (Thein Zaw/Associated Press)
Distraught relatives of Kyaw Soe Oo wailed and reached out to grasp him as the two journalists were driven away from a throng of reporters after the hearing.
Reuters President and Editor-In-Chief Stephen J. Adler said he was extremely disappointed that the authorities were seeking to prosecute the pair.
"We view this as a wholly unwarranted, blatant attack on press freedom. Our colleagues should be allowed to return to their jobs reporting on events in Myanmar. We believe time is of the essence and we continue to call for Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo's prompt release," he said.
Government spokesman Zaw Htay declined to comment on the charges but said the two had their rights under an independent judicial system.
"The judge will be decide whether they are guilty or not according to the law," he told Reuters.

International concerns

Government officials from some of the world's major nations, including Canada, Britain and the United States, Britain, as well as top United Nations officials, have called for the release of the reporters.
Observers from the United Nations and from several embassies, including the Netherlands, Australia and Britain were at the court.
The U.S. embassy said it was "very disappointed" by the decision to pursue charges.
"For democracy to succeed and flourish, journalists must be able to do their jobs. We call for their immediate release," it said in a statement.

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Bill Clinton

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[ltr]A free press is critical to a free society—the detention of journalists anywhere is unacceptable. The Reuters journalists being held in Myanmar should be released immediately.[/ltr]
10:17 PM - Jan 8, 2018



  • 64.6K



  • 17.2K people are talking about this


[size][ltr]
Twitter Ads info and privacy

[/ltr]


Authorities have largely banned media from the conflict zone. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has urged that they be freed immediately, saying on Twitter on Monday that a free press was critical for a free society and the detention of journalists anywhere was unacceptable.
Japan wants to raise the matter of the two reporters with the Myanmar government at appropriate opportunities, including a visit by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono this week, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in Tokyo.  
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said last month Canada was "deeply concerned" over their detention.
"Freedom of the press is essential for democracy and must be preserved," Freeland said at the time.
[/size]


  • CBC INVESTIGATES
    'The writing was on the wall': What did the UN know in advance of the Rohingya crisis?



  • Why Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world

[size]
Phil Robertson of the group Human Rights Watch said that "if Aung San Suu Kyi and her government really cared about democratic reforms and governance, they could use their parliamentary majority to quickly reform this antiquated colonial law and bring it into compliance with international human rights standards.
Suu Kyi won a 2015 election and formed Myanmar's first civilian government in more than half a century in early 2016, although she is barred by the constitution from becoming president.
She has made no public comment on the detention of the two Reuters reporters. The government has denied that their arrests represent an attack on press freedom.[/size]

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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by annemarie on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 16:10

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[size=40]Rights lawyer Amal Clooney to represent Reuters reporters held in Myanmar

Reuters Staff
3 MIN READ
[/size]

  • [url=https://www.twitter.com/share?url=https%3A%2F%2Freut.rs%2F2GU4yCZ&text=Rights lawyer Amal Clooney to represent Reuters reporters held in Myanmar][/url]
  • [url=https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Freut.rs%2F2GU4yCZ&t=Rights lawyer Amal Clooney to represent Reuters reporters held in Myanmar][/url]



YANGON (Reuters) - Prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has joined the legal team representing two Reuters reporters jailed in Myanmar, who are accused of possessing secret government papers, her office said on Thursday.

A court in Yangon has been holding preliminary hearings since January to decide whether Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, will be charged under the colonial-era Officials Secrets Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
The journalists had been working on a Reuters investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state during an army crackdown that began in August, which has sent nearly 700,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh.

Lawyers for the two reporters on Wednesday asked the court to throw out the case, saying there was insufficient evidence to support charges against the pair.

“Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are being prosecuted simply because they reported the news. I have reviewed the case file and it is clear beyond doubt that the two journalists are innocent and should be released immediately,” Amal Clooney was quoted as saying in a statement released by her office.
“The outcome of this case will tell us a lot about Myanmar’s commitment to the rule of law and freedom of speech,” said Clooney, who is married to actor George Clooney.
Zaw Htay, spokesman for Myanmar’s civilian government, declined to comment.




FILE PHOTO: Amal Clooney attends a security council meeting at U.N. headquarters during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, U.S. September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Government officials have previously denied the arrests represent an attack on press freedom, which rights advocates say is under growing threat in the Southeast Asian country.
Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations, Hau Do Suan, said last month that the Reuters journalists were not arrested for reporting a story, but were accused of “illegally possessing confidential government documents”.
Gail Gove, chief counsel of Reuters, said retaining Clooney would strengthen the company’s international legal expertise and broaden efforts to secure the release of the reporters.






[ltr]Slideshow (2 Images)[/ltr]

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been in custody since their arrest on Dec. 12.
The pair have told relatives they were arrested almost immediately after being handed some rolled up papers at a restaurant in northern Yangon by two policemen they had not met before, having been invited to meet the officers for dinner.
The district court in northern Yangon will hear arguments from prosecutors and defense lawyers on the motion to dismiss the case on April 4.
Reporting By Yimou Lee; Additional reporting by Shoon Naing; Editing by Alex Richardson
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by party animal - not! on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 16:12

Thank you, Annemarie!

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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by annemarie on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 16:13

Your welcome Pan.

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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by Donnamarie on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 19:31

I had seen a news report about the jailing of these two reporters several weeks ago.  I haven’t heard much since.  It’s great that Amal has decided to take on their case and to shine a light.
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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by ladybugcngc on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 20:39

Donnamarie wrote:I had seen a news report about the jailing of these two reporters several weeks ago.  I haven’t heard much since.  It’s great that Amal has decided to take on their case and to shine a light.
Donna,

"Amal's Team" has taken the case.  It is a no, no to mention a case Amal is working on without mentioning the "team".
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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by Admin on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 04:35

Nope, ladybugcngc: it says she JOINED the team.  She's now part of the team of lawyers (as is usual) handling the case, not that she's in charge of a team or that it's specifically her team [although both may be possible, I really don't know].

I'm glad for the accurate reporting: too many Clooney fans still seem to think that Amal's a lawyer working on her own, as you see in TV shows.  I think the British legal system - especially when it comes to international legal cases - just baffles them.

ETA: if you read the Daily Fail account of this, it completely fails to mention that there's a team and suggests that Amal is single-handedly representing the journalists. Sigh.
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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by carolhathaway on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 09:50

A German journalist with Turkish roots was imprisoned in Turkey for one year because he had interviewed President Erdogan's political enemy. There was no formal prosecution, he was in solitary confinement for months.
His family and friends tried to set pressure on the German government which used all their diplomatic options and finally succeeded after one year. But there are still hundreds of other journalists imprisoned in Turkey, and as long as they have no other nationality apart from the Turkish, foreign governments can only protest.

So it's great that Amal uses her celebrity to shine a light on these journalists (since there's no mention of the journalists' nationality, I assume it's Myanmar)...
By the way: I think that the Nobel Prize Committe should think about a way to dispossess the Nobel Prize from Aung San Suu Kiy.
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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by annemarie on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 10:26

The fails first line actually says she has joined the team of lawyers representing these journalists.

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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by Admin on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 10:48

Oops, my mistake! Thanks annemarie
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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by Joanna on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 12:13

How on earth can two Reuter Journalists be charged
with reporting the news ?

Reuters have the straight reputation for reporting the accurate news worldwide and has integrity.

(Sorry.....my grammar is all to "####" at the moment due to the many drugs I'm taking for a serious leg infection.)
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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by annemarie on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 12:44

Hi Joanna I hope your leg gets better soon.

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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by party animal - not! on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 12:59

Exactly, Joanna.

And I reckon that was precisely Amal's reaction!

Ironic that she so admired Aung San Suu Kyi's work that she managed to get into the same college at Oxford University. And now this.

She will bring so much international publicity to this case that the Myanmar military junta will hate it.

There is a theory - but who knows? - that Aung San Suu Kyi is under threat from the military but at the same time working with them. She has certainly not spoken out on the whole situation there despite the opportunities she's had

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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by Donnamarie on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 17:52

Yep.  Reuters is very reputable.  It looks so obvious that these reporters were set up by the government.  

Joanna, so good to hear from you and I hope you will be on the mend soon!
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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by carolhathaway on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 22:04

Joanna,

I hope you'll feel better soon!
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Re: Amal Clooney To Represent Two Reuters Journalist

Post by party animal - not! on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 13:38

This is Gail Gove. She is the lead counsel for Thomson Reuters and is based in NYC.

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This may explain some of Amal's comings and goings

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