Theweekendleader

Myanmar to free journalists jailed for flying drone

Naypyidaw

28-December-2017

Two foreign journalists who were jailed for flying a drone near Myanmar's Parliament will be released on January 5, the authorities said on Thursday.

The crew -- cameraman Lau Hon Meng from Singapore and Malaysian reporter Mok Choy Lin -- work for Turkish broadcaster TRT and were detained in Myanmar while shooting a documentary in October, the BBC reported.

Their interpreter Aung Naing Soe and driver Hla Tin, both from Myanmar, will also be released. All four were serving a two-month sentence for breaching anti-aircraft laws in the country.

Further charges, which could have led to years in jail, were dropped. 

In addition to the alleged violation of the anti-aircraft act, the four were investigated for breaching rules on importing the drone without a licence. The two journalists were also accused of immigration offences.

TRT insisted that the Myanmar authorities had been informed about the planned filming activities. The Myanmar police said they dropped the additional charges because the journalists "had not endangered national security".

Myanmar has over the past years seen increasing curbs on press freedom, especially on issues around the powerful military. - IANS