The Official Secrets Act was introduced in 1923, during the colonial era, and carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years. The government has used the law against journalists in the past to prevent open reporting on government and military activities.

“The attempt by the military to cover up acts of genocide and the decision of the NLD-led government to support this and allow the prosecution to continue highlights many serious problems in Burma today,“ said Anna Roberts, Executive Director at Burma Campaign UK. “There is a climate of growing restrictions on media freedom, and Aung San Suu Kyi must now start facing international pressure over her decision to keep so many repressive laws in place and keep political prisoners in jail.”

Burma Campaign UK is also calling on the European Union to suspend its MyPol training programme with the military-controlled police force, which framed and arrested Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. As long as the police force is not accountable to the government and under the control of a military accused of genocide, it is hard to see how this can be an effective use of European taxpayers’ money.