YANGON, Myanmar - Two Reuters journalists will remain in prison in Myanmar after losing an appeal against their conviction and sentences on Friday.
The pair, who were probing the killing of ten Rohingya Muslim men by security officials in western Rakhine state when they were arrested, and were subsequently found guilty of breaching an obscure Official Secrets Act.
Despite international condemnation of the Myanmar government over the affair, the journalists6,971 Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were each handed a 7-year prison sentence.
Lawyers for the journalists filed an appeal against their conviction at the High Court in Yangon in November, two months af ter their conviction.
High Court Judge Aung Naing, however, rejected the appeal on Friday, and in doing so described the conviction as just, and the 7 year sentence in each case as "a suitable punishment."
"Reporting is not a crime, and until Myanmar rights this terrible wrong, the press in Myanmar is not free," Stephen J. Adler, Reuters editor-in-chief, said in a statement following Friday's decision.
Than Zaw Aung, the lawyer acting for the duo said his clients could appeal to the Supreme Court in the political capital Nay Pyi Taw within the next 2 months.