Suu Kyi defends jailing of Reuters reporters

Visitors flocked to Myanmar after western sanctions were lifted 2012

However, after the court verdict ruled Wa Lone, and Kyaw Soe Oo seven years in jail, Aung San Suu Kyi defended the imprisonment and demanded those who criticize the judgment show her where there has been a "miscarriage of justice".

Ms. Suu Kyi's government has announced she will not be traveling to NY to attend the U.N. General Assembly meeting later this month.

Suu Kyi, in her first public comment on the case since the two, Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were convicted last week, referred to the colonial-era law under which they were charged.

The sentence prompted a storm of global outcry as an assault on freedom of speech, while erstwhile rights champion Ms Suu Kyi came under intense pressure for failing to speak up for the pair. "We can not choose and pick whom should be protected by rule of law", she said. "The case was held in open court".

The United Nations and human rights organizations all over the world condemned the trial of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who claimed they had been framed by police officers who provided them with official documents just before their arrest.

Her comments drew an indignant response from rights groups who have urged the Nobel Laureate to press for a presidential pardon for the reporters.

Over the six years, her National League for Democracy Party has won a general election and grappled with a system that forces it to share power with its former ruling generals.

"Open courts are created to shed light on the justice process", International Commission of Jurists legal adviser Sean Bain said.

"If we believe in the rule of law, they have every right to appeal the judgment and to point out why the judgment was wrong".

About 700,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine previous year after the army launched a brutal counterinsurgency campaign in response to August 2017 attacks by Rohingya militants on security forces.

The ferocity of that crackdown has thrust Myanmar into a firestorm of criticism as Western goodwill evaporates towards a country ruled by a ruthless junta until 2015.

Ms. Suu Kyi's statements reinforce her reluctance to criticize the armed forces for what a United Nations fact-finding mission calls a possible genocide.

The International Criminal Court said it has jurisdiction to open an investigation, even though Myanmar is not a member of the tribunal.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi addresses participants during the opening session of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 in Hanoi, Vietnam. She also admitted that her government could in hindsight have handled the Rohingya crisis differently.

But she remains popular at home, where the Rohingya Muslim minority is widely reviled among the mostly Buddhist population.

But he also said he wished Aung San Suu Kyi had talked more about investment, "especially to Rakhine State".

The guilty verdicts of the two Reuters reporters on September 3 has sharply divided public opinion in Myanmar.

The Reuters reporters had denied the charges, insisting they were set up while exposing the extrajudicial killing of 10 Rohingya Muslims in the village of Inn Din in September past year.



Other news