The wives of two Reuters journalists found guilty of violating Myanmar’s official secrets act and jailed for seven years have publicly lamented Aung San Suu Kyi’s role in tearing their families apart.
“Aung San Suu Kyi used to give speeches before I even understood English, and I would always listen to them because I knew the leader of the country was talking,” said Pan Ei Mon, wife of the reporter Wa Lone, as she addressed the media in Yangon. “I loved her and respected her so much, but she said our husbands were not reporters because they violated the nation’s secrets, and I am very devastated by that answer.”
Pan Ei Mon was referring to an interview that Myanmar’s civilian leader gave to the Japanese broadcaster NHK in June, during which she said the two reporters “were arrested because they broke the official secrets act”.
On Aug 15th, the day Kabul fell to the Taliban, Basir and his family made their first attempt to get into the airport and onto a plane. It would be nearly a month before they escaped into Pakistan. Over the next weeks they would be beaten at Taliban checkpoints, endure crushing crowds and be threatened and sworn at by soldiers from around the world.