Amal Clooney calls on Myanmar's Suu Kyi to pardon Reuters reporters

Reuters reporters facing 7 years in prison. Now what

Reuters reporters facing 7 years in prison. Now what

REUTERS/Shannon StapletonReuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler and attorney Amal Clooney participate in the Press Behind Bars: Undermining Justice and Democracy event at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in NY, U.S., September 28, 2018.

Although Suu Kyi's leadership post does not give her control over Myanmar's powerful military, her failure to stop what the United Nations has labeled a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" by army soldiers against minority Rohingya Muslims in the country's western Rakhine state has drawn almost universal opprobrium.

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney on Friday urged Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to pardon two journalists imprisoned in the country for more than 290 days, Reuters reported.

Clooney said Myanmar's President Win Myint would make the decision to issue a pardon in consultation with Suu Kyi.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday that he was open to looking at stripping Suu Kyi of the honor but said doing so would not end the crisis in Myanmar, where more than 700,000 Rohingya have fled a government crackdown.

But after a fact-finding mission, the United Nations on Thursday set up a panel to prepare indictments against Myanmar's army chief and five other top military commanders for crimes against humanity.

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It was reported that the White House named only four people that could be interviewed for the background check. The New York Times reported that Judge will be asked about both the Swetnick and Ramirez accusations as well.

Clooney is a member of the legal team representing Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were convicted earlier this month for breaching the country's Official Secrets Act, 1923, and sentenced to seven years in prison. There were 262 journalists imprisoned a year ago, according to the Committee to Protect Journalist, reaching "unprecedented levels". The operation sent almost 700,000 people fleeing to Bangladesh.

A United Nations fact-finding mission that investigated atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims issued a scathing report this month, detailing violence by security forces and calling for the prosecution of top military commanders as well as the removal of the country's powerful Tatmadaw (military) from politics. Myanmar rejected the findings.

"But I don't think anybody has actually bothered to read it", Suu Kyi said, adding the two men were free to appeal the judgment. She said the reporters had been sentenced for handling official secrets and "were not jailed because they were journalists".

"She holds the key, the key to their liberty, the key to reuniting them with their young children, the key to freedom of the press".

"In 2007, the House of Commons granted Aung San Suu Kyi the status of honorary Canadian citizen".

On Friday, the celebrated human rights lawyer attended Press Behind Bars: Undermining Justice and Democracy, an event for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "History will judge her on her response".

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