British Foreign Secretary meets Suu Kyi

Saul Bowman
February 12, 2018

Two Reuters journalists now in detention in Myanmar were arrested by authorities there because they were investigating a mass execution of minority Rohingya Muslims in the country's Rakhine state, the news agency has said. He cited security fears, continued discrimination and economic necessity.

Johnson and Aung San Suu Kyi "discussed in an open and friendly manner the latest developments in Rakhine State, including planning for the reception of returnees who fled", the Burmese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Facebook post.

Mr Johnson toured the camp and afterwards said the "horrendous living conditions" further strengthened his commitment to finding a solution.

Myanmar's government has denied the allegations.

Rohingya refugees sheltering in Bangladesh must be allowed to return to their homes in safety, Boris Johnson has warned.

A month after the journalists' arrest, Myanmar's army issued a rare statement admitting that security forces took part in extrajudicial killings of 10 Rohingya "terrorists" in Inn Din village.

The meeting followed Johnson's visit to a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, where almost 700,000 Rohingya have sought sanctuary since fleeing Myanmar since August previous year.


Their plight has sparked global alarm over withering press freedoms in Myanmar and government efforts to curb reporting in northern Rakhine state - where troops are accused of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims.

In November, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement to begin repatriating Rohingya refugees by the end of January, but Dhaka suspended it at the last minute.

The military's version of events is contradicted by accounts given separately by Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim witnesses.

Britain's foreign minister, Boris Johnson, said he would raise the case of the two journalists during a meeting with the country's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Sunday.

That public admission followed the arrests of the two Myanmar journalists who were investigating the massacre and are now facing up 14 years in prison on charges of possessing secret documents.

He will go on to Bangkok, Thailand, for talks with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

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