Committee to Protect Journalists yesterday urged Bangladesh to immediately release two Myanmar journalists detained on September 7 by the police and drop all charges against them.
Police arrested Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat in Cox’s Bazar when they were covering a report for a German magazine, the publication’s Deputy Editor-in-chief Juergen Schaefer told CPJ today.
A court yesterday denied the journalists’ request for bail, he further added.
Police have charged Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat with “false impersonation” and providing “false information,” according to reports.
Ranajit Barua, police in-charge of Cox’s Bazar Police Station, said the journalists violated immigration rules by reporting in Bangladesh on tourist visas, and could face up to seven years in jail if found guilty.
Robert Mahoney, the deputy executive director of CPJ, said, “The Bangladeshi authorities should not criminalise covering a major world story”.
“Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat should be released immediately and all charges against them dropped. Both local and international journalists reporting on the Rohingya story must be allowed to work freely.” Zaw Htay, a spokesman for Myanmar’s Presidential Office, posted a tweet today saying that the government is asking Bangladesh why the journalists are being held.