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Myanmar Supreme Court Agrees to Rule on Reuters Journalists’ Appeal

Myanmar’s Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to rule on an appeal filed by lawyers representing two Reuters journalists sentenced to seven years in jail for violating the country’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act while they reported on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims during a brutal military-led crackdown in Rakhine state.

Reporters Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, were arrested in December 2017 while pursuing a story about the extrajudicial killings of 10 Rohingya in northern Rakhine’s Inn Din village, after policemen they had met for dinner handed them papers related to security operations in the state.

A Yangon court sentenced the journalists to seven years in jail in September 2018 for possessing classified government documents.

Their lawyers filed an appeal with the Supreme Court on Feb. 1 based on a lack of proof and evidence that the two men had been set up by police, after a previous appeal filed with the Yangon Regional Court on Jan. 11 had been rejected.

Attorney Khin Maung Zaw said Tuesday that during submission of the appeal to the court he cited 13 grounds on which he believed judicial procedure had been violated.

He also said it was strange that the court accepted the appeal based on legal precedents involving the right to information and state secrets laws in other Asian countries.

“The judge cited Singaporean and Indian rulings in the appeal,” he said.

“The essence of these rules is that the right to information will not prevail when it comes into conflict with the Official Secrets Act,” he said.

Though Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo remain in Yangon’s Insein Prison and did not attend the hearing, their wives traveled to the capital with their young children to show support for their appeal.

We want to be together as a family as soon as possible,” said Chit Su Win, wife of Kyaw Soe Oo. “We have been dreaming about our times together. I believe the appeal for them will succeed.”

Wa Lone’s wife, Pan Ei, who gave birth to their first child last year while her husband was in prison, echoed the sentiment.

“I don’t understand well about the judiciary, but I simply want to be united with my husband, and I want both of them to be home as soon as possible,” she said. “Their health conditions are good.”

No date was set for the pair’s next appearance before the judge.

Ahead of the hearing, Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen J. Adler issued a statement that said: “Myanmar’s Supreme Court has the opportunity to correct the serious miscarriage of justice inflicted on Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo for the last 15 months.”

“They are honest, admirable journalists who did not break the law, and they should be freed as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Miscarriage of justice

Rights groups and diplomats have condemned the sentencing of the the reporters, saying their convictions have dealt a blow to freedom of the press in the developing democracy.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who defended the sentencing in September 2018, invited critics of the ruling to point out any miscarriage of justice, and said that the reporters could appeal their sentences under due process of law.

She also maintained that their convictions had nothing to do with the suppression of press freedom and that they were jailed for handling classified documents about the crackdown during which roughly 740,000 Rohingya fled to safety in neighboring Bangladesh.

The United States, United Nations, and other critics have said that atrocities committed against the Rohingya amounted to ethnic cleansing, if not genocide, though the Myanmar government has denied the allegations.

Independent journalists have largely been forbidden to access to the areas where the crackdown occurred.

Dozens of journalists have been arrested under MYanmar’s civilian-led government that came to power in 2016, earning the administration of Aung San Suu Kyi the wrath of rights groups for appearing to backpedal on press freedom after decades of stifling military rule in Myanmar.

Reported by Win Ko Ko Latt for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

Copyright © 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036

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India News Brief

5 July, 2020

Delhi Reported 2,224 New COVID-19 Cases
Tamil Nadu Reported  4,100 New COVID-19 Cases
COVID-19 Cases In the State of Maharashtra Crosses 200,000, 7074 Fresh Cases and 295 Deaths reported in the Last 24 Hours
Single Day Spike in COVID-19 Cases in India:21,771 Cases
India Set to Overtake Russia as 3rd Worst Hit by COVID-19 Pandemic

Total COVID Cases: 673,165 Death Toll: 19,268

India's Most Affected States:

Maharashtra: Total Positive Cases: 192,990 Total Deaths: 8,376

Gujarat: Total Positive Cases: 34,686  Total Deaths: 1,906

Madhya Pradesh: Total  Positive Cases: 14,297 Total Deaths: 593

West Bengal: Total Positive Cases: 20,488 Total Deaths: 717

Delhi: Total Positive Cases: 94,695 Total Deaths: 2,923

Rajasthan: Total Positive Cases: 19,256 Total Deaths: 443

Uttar Pradesh: Total Positive  Cases: 25,797 Total Deaths: 749

Tamil Nadu : Total Positive Cases: 1,02,721 Total Deaths: 1,385

Andhra Pradesh: Total Positive Cases: 16,934 Total Deaths: 206

Telengana: Total Positive Cases:20,762 Total Deaths: 283

Karnataka: Total Positive Cases: 19,710 Total Deaths: 293

Punjab: Total Positive Cases: 5,937 .Total Deaths: 157

Jammu and Kashmir: 8,019 Total Deaths: 119

The West Bengal Government Allows 50 People at Marriage Functions and Funerals during the current phase of COVID-19 Lockdown from 1 July to 31 July.
According to Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, morning walks will be allowed from 5.30 a.m to 8.30 a.m provided social distancing and other norms.
The new guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 30 June: Schools, colleges, educational institutions, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places, and even metro services will continue to remain shut until July 31

India Reports 18,522 New Cases and 418 Deaths in 24 Hours 

COVID-19: Highlights 

Schools May Reopen in August According to Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokriyal.

Religious Places Visit: No Touching of Deity, No no Sparkling of Holy Water No Prasada in Temples Wearing Mask Thermal Screening is a must 

Shopping Malls Visit: Elderly People With 65 Years of Age and Children Below 10 Years Are Advised to Stay at Home.

Restaurant and food courts in malls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity with a mandatory distance of six feet between tables. No common prayer mats, physical offerings like prasad, or sprinkling of holy water, in places of worship. Age and health-based restrictions on stepping out of home. Masks to be mandatory, and the Aarogya Setu app 'recommended' for all.

Use of masks, thermal screening, social distancing and sanitisation, the guidelines  require people above 65 years of age, specially  people with comorbidities, pregnant woman, and children below the age of 10 years, to stay at home. Masks are mandatory at all times, including inside restaurants

15 Day Amarnath Yarra Starts from 22 July

Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Indian Health Ministry 

Lockdown extends till June 30

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed..

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

COVID-19: Delhi Death Toll Rises to 82 in Last 24 Hours

Probable Guidelines for Lockdown 5.0.

More travel routes are likely to open in Lockdown 5.0.

From June 1, the Railways will operate 100 pairs of mail or express trains, bookings have already begun. Then AC class services will resume.

Some states have already begun intra-state buses. Other states may  begin intra-tate bus services after June 1.Metro  services may begin in a limited manner, with lesser passenger capacity, social distancing norms and longer stops at each station.

Shops selling non-essential items were allowed to open during Lockdown 4.0.. More shops may open in Lockdown 5.0 even in markets.But no confirmed news regarding opening of shopping malls.Now many shops that have re-opened in market areas are operating on an odd-even basis.

Some cities have already allowed salons and beauty parlours to open with strict social distancing guidelines and wearing protective gear is a must.In containment areas the same rule may prevail in Lockdown 5.0.

The Human Resource Development Ministry of India will soon announce the guidelines of   schools reopening.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they are developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

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