National Press Club

National Press Club condemns convictions of Reuters reporters in Myanmar

September 3, 2018 | By John Donnelly |

The National Press Club on Monday condemned the jail terms handed down to two journalists who exposed a genocide in Myanmar and committed to work to free them. The reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo of Reuters news service, are this year’s winners of the Club’s international John Aubuchon Press Freedom award.

“When the Press Club extends the Aubuchon Press Freedom award to journalists it means we are committed to standing by those reporters until they are free and returned to their loved ones,” said Club President Andrea Edney. “We are making that commitment with this award to these two Reuters journalists. We will continue to speak out on their behalf until they are released to their colleagues and families.”

The two men were arrested while investigating a mass murder of 10 Rohyingya Muslims aided and abetted by Myanmar’s military. Reuters published the reporters’ story while they were in prison.

“We are heartbroken to learn these two wonderful journalists, husbands and fathers, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, will continue to be unjustly detained for their outstanding investigative work.” Edney said. “We believe they did nothing wrong and call for their immediate release and return to their colleagues and families.”

“The National Press Club plans to bestow our international John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award on these two brave journalists at our Fourth Estate Award Dinner on Nov. 29. We understand that an appeal of this wrongful conviction will be filed and we look forward to welcoming these reporters in person at our dinner,” Edney added.

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. It has more than 3,100 members worldwide. The Club supports press freedom through its nonprofit National Press Club Journalism Institute.