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Myanmar jailing of reporters sends 'wrong message': US

Published on Jul 19, 2014 6:38 AM
Myanmar journalists wearing T-shirts that say "Stop Killing Press" stage a silent protest for five journalists who were jailed for 10 years on July 10, near the Myanmar Peace Center on July 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States on Friday condemned tough jail terms handed down on five Myanmar journalists for publishing a story about an alleged chemical weapons factory.

State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said Washington was concerned about the jail terms of 10 years with hard labor given to reporters from the Unity Weekly News under the former junta-run country’s official secrets act.

“The sentence sends the wrong message about Burma’s commitment to freedom of expression, including for the press,” Ms Psaki said, using Myanmar’s former name.

“The Burmese government has made tremendous progress in the last three years, working to develop an environment conducive to free, fair, independent media,” she told reporters.

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