UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay welcomed the release of two Myanmar journalists, Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone, the laureates of the 2019 UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. The two journalists were granted amnesty Tuesday by Myanmar’s President, Win Myint.
“Four days after the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, when they were awarded the UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, I welcome the decision to release Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone. This is a relief for them, their loved ones, but also a positive step forward for press freedom,” said Ms. Azoulay. “UNESCO recalls that it is essential to the functioning of our democracies that journalists can carry out their mission without fear of reprisals,” she said.
Both journalists were employees of the Reuters News Agency at the time of their arrest in Yangon on 12 December 2017, investigating allegations of human rights violations in Rakhine State, Myanmar.
UNESCO Director-General awarded them the UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on the recommendation of an international jury of media professionals.
🔴 [Press Release]@UNESCO Director-General @AAzoulay welcomes the release in Myanmar of two Reuters journalists, Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone, laureates of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World #PressFreedom Prize.
— UNESCO (@UNESCO) May 7, 2019
The award ceremony was held in their absence on 2 May in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the main celebrations of World Press Freedom Day (3 May) were held.
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