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U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence calls for release of journalists imprisoned in Myanmar

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks at an event to honor federal immigration agents in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 20 August 2018. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO via AP

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence is calling on Myanmar to immediately release two journalists who were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment on charges of possessing state secrets in connection with their reporting on massacres against Rohingya Muslims.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo from the Reuters news agency were sentenced Monday in proceedings that were widely decried as unfair.

Coverage of the jailing of two journalists in Myanmar: 

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They had reported about the army’s brutal counterinsurgency campaign that drove 700,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh.

The subject is sensitive in Myanmar because of worldwide condemnation of the military’s human rights abuses, which it denies.

READ MORE: Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel laureate and honourary Canadian, slammed after Myanmar imprisons journalists

Pence tweeted the two should be “commended-not imprisoned-for their work exposing human rights violations & mass killings.”

He says: “Freedom of religion & freedom of the press are essential to a strong democracy.”

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