Freed Reuters journalists receive Pulitzer Prize

Mr Wa Lone (left) and Mr Kyaw Soe Oo were released this month after being jailed for more than 500 days in Myanmar. Before they were arrested in December 2017, they had been working on a story on the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys.
Mr Wa Lone (left) and Mr Kyaw Soe Oo were released this month after being jailed for more than 500 days in Myanmar. Before they were arrested in December 2017, they had been working on a story on the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Two Reuters journalists who were jailed in Myanmar for more than 500 days and convicted of violating the Official Secrets Act, received their Pulitzer Prize for international reporting on Tuesday at Columbia University from the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Mr Wa Lone, 33, and Mr Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, had been arrested in December 2017 and convicted last September. They were sentenced to seven years in jail in a case that raised questions about Myanmar's progress towards democracy and sparked an outcry from diplomats and human rights advocates.

The two were finally freed this month.

Before their arrest, they had been working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and Buddhist civilians in western Myanmar's Rakhine state, during an army crackdown that began in August 2017.

The operation sent more than 730,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh, according to United Nations estimates.

The report the two men authored, featuring testimony from perpetrators, witnesses and families of the victims, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting this month, adding to a number of accolades received by the pair for their journalism.

Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay said the decision to release the two was made after the families wrote to government leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2019, with the headline 'Freed Reuters journalists receive Pulitzer Prize'. Print Edition | Subscribe