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Myanmar: Reuters journalists jailed for reporting on Rohingya killings freed from prison

Myanmar: Reuters journalists jailed for reporting on Rohingya killings freed from prison

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were convicted last September and sentenced to seven years in prison.

"After leaders took into consideration the long-term interest of (the) country, two Reuters journalists were released", spokesperson Zaw Htay told reporters.

The attorney for the two men, Amal Clooney, issued a statement saying that, Since taking on this case over a year ago, I have witnessed incredible determination by Reuters, in particular editor-in-chief Steve Adler and Chief Counsel Gail Gove, in their pursuit of justice for their courageous reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.

Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo celebrates with wife Chit Su Win and their daughter after being released from prison after a presidential pardon, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Yangon, Myanmar.

This is the third round of presidential pardons, after Win Myint freed 9,551 prisoners on April 17 and another 6,948 on April 26, most of whom were serving sentences for drug offences.

Their wives wrote to the government asking for an appeal, Reuters said, so the men could be reunited with their families.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was relieved to learn of the release of the Reuters reporters, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

"Since taking on this case over a year ago, I have witnessed incredible determination by Reuters, in particular editor-in-chief Steve Adler and Chief Counsel Gail Gove, in their pursuit of justice for their fearless reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo".

Australian journalist Peter Greste says he was "overjoyed" when he heard two Reuters journalists had been freed from a Myanmar prison.

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"The UN in Myanmar welcomes the release of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo from prison".

"Since their arrests 511 days ago, they have become symbols of the importance of press freedom around the world".

The two were arrested in December 2017 outside a restaurant in Yangon.

The case raised questions about Myanmar's progress toward democracy and sparked an outcry from diplomats and human rights advocates.

Two Reuters journalists imprisoned in Myanmar for more than a year were freed Tuesday.

"Young men who have now proven themselves as world-renowned journalists, they have long and important careers ahead of them carrying out the essential work of holding Myanmar's fledgling new government accountable and keeping their country's deserving public informed", Nossel said.

"I think this will reduce the pressures on Myanmar's government by the global community", said Yan Myo Thein, a political analyst.

Security forces have been accused of committing mass atrocities during the large-scale campaign, including murder, rape, torture, enslavement and arson - allegations Myanmar's government has repeatedly denied. "We welcome their return", Stephen J. Adler, Reuter's Editor-in-Chief said in a statement. "This is unacceptable as they only did their job as journalists".