Myanmar court refuses to dismiss charges against journalists

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Myanmar court refuses to dismiss charges against journalists
Reuters journalist Wa Lone, center, walks along with his wife Pan Ei Mon, second left, as he is escorted by police upon arrival at his trial Wednesday, April.11, 2018, Yangon, Myanmar. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A Myanmar court has refused to dismiss a case against two Reuters journalists after the reporters’ lawyers insisted last week that the evidence doesn’t support the charges.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo face possible charges under the Official Secrets Act, a law dating from British colonial times. If convicted, they could get up to 14 years in prison.

They were arrested Dec. 12, with police accusing them of violating the law by acquiring “important secret papers” handed to them by two policemen who worked in troubled Rakhine state. Security forces in Rakhine have been accused of serious human rights violations against ethnic Rohingya Muslims.

A lawyer said the judge refused to dismiss the charges Wednesday. The next hearing is set for April 20.