A court in Myanmar sentenced two foreign journalists to two months in prison today for illegally flying a drone over parliament. Lau Hon Meng, a Singaporean, and Mok Choy Lin, a Malaysian, were on assignment for Turkish Radio and Television when they were detained on October 27 in the capital, Naypyitaw. Their local interpreter, Aung Naing Soe, and their driver, Hla Tin, were also sentenced to two months in jail for the incident. All four face separate charges for allegedly importing the drone. Another hearing is set for November 16. Authorities allege the journalists tried to fly a drone over parliament without permission.
A lawyer for the interpreter and the driver said they should have been freed because they did not own or operate the drone. A state-run newspaper had previously reported the journalists intended to take photos of parliament buildings and pagodas in Naypyitaw when security guards spotted them. The detainees had not been allowed to see family members since their arrest last month. When they appeared for the hearing today, Aung Naing Soe, who is also a journalist, was able to hug his weeping mother.
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