Pulitzer Administrator Applauds Release of Two Award Winners

Dana Canedy calls the reporters “international symbols of the importance of press freedom.”

Caroline Harting
May 07, 2019

The world is cheering the news that two Reuters journalists – Wa Lone, 33, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29 – were released from prison in Myanmar on Tuesday after nearly 500 days behind bars.

The two reporters had been convicted of breaking Myanmar’s “Official Secrets Act” for reporting on the country’s deadly crackdown on the Rohingya minority group and sentenced to seven years in prison. Reuters has said that the two men did not commit any crime.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were released under a presidential amnesty. The men, along with their Reuters colleagues, were awarded in April the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, one of journalism’s most coveted and prestigious honors.

Here in New York, Dana Canedy, the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, which are given out by Columbia University,  said, “Like all who embrace the principles of a free and open press, we are enormously gratified that Reuters journalists and 2019 Pulitzer Prize winners Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been released from prison. They stand as international symbols of the importance of press freedom and have made us all proud with their commitment to journalism under tremendously oppressive circumstances.”