Myanmar journalists fly home after arrest

Bangladesh allowed two journalists from Myanmar detained while reporting about fleeing Rohingya Muslims to fly home on Tuesday and was dropping charges against them, their lawyer said.

Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat were picked up from the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh in early September because they were working as journalists on tourist visas, police said.

They were released on bail after calls from Germany’s GEO magazine, which had assigned Minzayar Oo to cover the influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, as well as rights groups.

“It’s so good to be free again,” Minzayar Oo, one of Myanmar’s most prominent photographers, told Reuters soon after his plane landed in the Thai capital of Bangkok.

Bangladesh authorities had begun the process to drop the charges against the pair, their lawyer, Jyotirmoy Barua, said.

Minzayar Oo has worked for various media outlets, covering Myanmar’s emergence from military rule. He had previously worked as a contractor with Reuters.

Hkun Lat is also a well-known photographer in Myanmar and has won prizes for his coverage of conflict in frontier regions.

About 582,000 refugees from Myanmar have poured into Bangladesh since August 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts triggered an army crackdown in response.

Courtesy: Myanmar Times, Published: 18 Oct 2017