Reuters journalists Wa Lone (L) and Kyaw Soe Oo, who are based in Myanmar, pose for a picture at the Reuters office in Yangon, Myanmar December 11, 2017. Picture taken December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Antoni Slodkowski/File Photo
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Two Reuters journalists completed a week in detention in Myanmar on Tuesday, with no word on where they were being held as authorities proceeded with an investigation into whether they violated the country's colonial-era Official Secrets Act.Approval from the president's office is needed before court proceedings can begin in cases brought under the Official Secrets Act, which has a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.Rights groups were hopeful there would be further gains in press freedoms after Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi came to power last year amid a transition from full military rule that had propelled her from political prisoner to elected leader.However, advocacy groups say freedom of speech has been eroded since she took office, with many arrests of journalists, restrictions on reporting in Rakhine state and heavy use of state-run media to control the narrative.The Ministry of Information said last week that the two journalists had "illegally acquired information with the intention to share it with foreign media", and released a photo of them in handcuffs.The authorities have not allowed the journalists any contact with their families, a lawyer or Reuters since their arrest.On Sunday, spokesman Zaw Htay said the journalists' legal rights were being respected.
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