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Myanmar frees journalists jailed for flying drone

IANS | Nay Pyi Taw |

Two foreign journalists, an interpreter and a driver jailed for flying a drone near Myanmar’s parliament have been released, the authorities said on Friday.

Cameraman Lau Hon Meng from Singapore and Malaysian reporter Mok Choy Lin were detained while shooting a documentary in October. Their driver Hla Tin and their interpreter, journalist Aung Naing Soe, are both from Myanmar, reports the BBC.

All four detainees, who work for Turkish broadcaster TRT, have served a two-month sentence for breaching anti-aircraft laws.

Further charges, which could have led to years in jail, have been dropped.

TRT has always insisted the authorities had been informed about the planned filming activities.

The four were being further investigated for breaching rules on importing the drone without a licence, an offence which could have resulted in a three-year jail term. The two foreign journalists were also accused of immigration offences.

But the police dropped the additional charges, saying the men had not endangered national security, the BBC reported.

Earlier this month, two local Reuters journalists covering the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine state were arrested.

The two are facing up to 14 years in prison and met their families on Wednesday for the first time since they were held.