Jailed Myanmar Reuters reporters, US border photographers win Pulitzer Prizes

Detained Reuters journalists Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone are escorted by police as they leave after a court hearing in Yangon in 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Reuters won two Pulitzer Prizes on Monday (April 15), one for an investigative report that revealed the massacre of 10 Muslim Rohingya men by Buddhist villagers and Myanmar security forces, and one for photographs of migrants on the US border, the Pulitzer administrator announced.

The Pulitzers, the most prestigious prizes in American journalism, have been awarded since 1917 after being established in the will of newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer.

The 18-member Pulitzer board is made up of past winners and other distinguished journalists and academics.

Reuters and the Associated Press were both awarded prizes for international reporting.

The Reuters entry featured an investigative report that revealed the massacre of 10 Muslim Rohingya men by Buddhist villagers and Myanmar security forces at the village of Inn Din, in the heart of the conflict zone of Rakhine State.

The story can be read here.

Two young Reuters reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, both Myanmar citizens, found a mass grave filled with bones sticking out of the ground.

They went on to gather testimony from perpetrators, witnesses and families of victims.

They obtained three devastating photographs from villagers: two showed the 10 Rohingya men bound and kneeling; the third showed the mutilated and bullet-ridden bodies of the same 10 men in the same shallow grave.

Before Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo could complete their story, they were arrested in December 2017 in what international observers have criticised as an effort by authorities to block the report.

The article, "Massacre in Myanmar," was completed by colleagues Simon Lewis and Antoni Slodkowski and published in February of last year.

In September, they were sentenced to seven years behind bars.

As of Monday, they have been in jail for 490 days.

In the breaking news photography category, 11 Reuters photographers contributed pictures to "On the Migrant Trail to America," a package of images of asylum seekers and others from Central America to the US border.

One photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon showed migrants fleeing tear gas launched by US authorities into Mexico at the San Diego-Tijuana border.

Honduran migrant Maria Meza runs away from tear gas with her five-year-old twin daughters Saira Mejia Meza (left) and Cheili Mejia Meza (right). PHOTO: REUTERS

In the image a mother grabs her twin daughters by the arm, one in diapers and wearing rubber sandals, the other barefoot, as a teargas cannister emits its fumes.

In another image, an aerial photo, Mike Blake was the first to photograph the detention facility in Tornillo, Texas, where children walked in single file, like prisoners.

Migrant children are led by staff in single file between tents at a detention facility next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas. PHOTO: REUTERS

Goran Tomasevic captured an image in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, a city with one of the highest murder rates in the world, of a rooster scratching in the dirt next to the slain body of a Barrio 18 gang member.

Tomasevic was a previous finalist for his pictures of the war in Syria.

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