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Calls for Myanmar to release convicted journalists

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Calls for Myanmar to release convicted journalists

Calls for Myanmar to release convicted journalists
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Rights advocates around the world are demanding the release of two Reuters journalists sentenced to seven years in prison by a Myanmar court.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were found guilty of breaching a law on state secrets.

Britain, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union are among those calling for their aquittal

It's a landmark case that's being seen as a test of progress in the Southeast Asian country,

"This is a major step backward in Myanmar's transition to democracy, cannot be squared with the rule of law or freedom of speech, and must be corrected by the Myanmar government as a matter of urgency," Stephen Adler, President and Editor-in-Chief of Reuters said on Monday.

Ahead of the verdict, dozens of demonstrators, including local reporters and democracy activists, rallied in Myanmar's largest city Yangon.

The two journalists have been behind bars since December 12 when they were arrested for obtaining confidential documents.

At the time they were investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya and other abuses involving soldiers and police in Inn Din, a village in Rakhine state.

The Myanmar government has declined to comment throughout the proceedings, saying they country's courts are independent and would follow the law.

The UN has labeled Myanmar's persecution of the Rohinga "genocide" and called for top generals to be prosecuted.