Rohingya killed in first month of Myanmar crackdown, MSF reports

Over 6700 Rohingya killed in a single month, Doctors Without Borders estimates

Michael reports: "Myanmar's government doesn't consider the Rohingya to be citizens; it says they are immigrants from Bangladesh who are living in Myanmar illegally".

The Ministry of Information said in a statement on its Facebook page that the journalists and two policemen face charges under the British colonial-era Official Secrets Act.

"Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been missing since Tuesday night", a Reuters spokesperson told Frontier by email Wednesday.

The report had harsh words for US President Donald Trump, whose attacks on the press have led to a climate of distrust for the media. "We call on the government of Myanmar to clarify the circumstances of their arrest, allow them access to legal representation immediately, and cease using restrictive laws to punish journalists for doing their job". It said most of the 400 were "extremist terrorists" who died during military "clearance operations".

"When we saw that photo of them, it broke our hearts that their picture was taken like they're criminals", said War Lay, a sister of Kyaw Soe Oo.

According to the US Embassy in Myanmar, the journalists were arrested Tuesday evening "after they were invited to meet with police officials". News reports indicate that they will be charged with allegedly possessing internal security reports related to the ongoing fighting in Rakhine State between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

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The United Nations has branded the military's campaign "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" of the minority Rohingya.

In Tokyo, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern over the detention of the journalists, saying it was part of an erosion of press freedom in Myanmar.

The New Delhi based International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) also condemned the violence in Myanmar following which a large number of Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring countries.

Authorities have banned journalists from independently travelling to northern Rakhine, the epicentre of the unrest. "We condemn violence on Rohingyas in Myanmar", Dhammapiya said.

"These arrests come amid a widening crackdown which is having a grave impact on the ability of journalists to cover a story of vital global importance", said Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative.

The Foreign Correspondents Club of Myanmar said it was "deeply shocked" by the arrests and "gravely concerned with the state of press freedom in Myanmar as the journalists were detained while carrying out their journalistic work". In a statement, it called on the authorities to ensure the safety of the reporters and allow their families to see them.

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