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Bangladesh grants bail to two detained journalists from Burma

DHAKA — Two journalists from Burma, who had been detained in Bangladesh while reporting on the influx of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, have been released on bail, a police official said on Saturday.

The journalists, Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat, were detained in early September in the Cox’s Bazar border region of Bangladesh, where refugees are arriving from Burma to escape a military offensive against insurgents.

“A court granted them bail, but they can’t go back to their country now,” police official Ranajit Kumar Barua told Reuters by telephone, adding that the court would decide whether the two could leave the country at a separate hearing that may take place sometime in the next week.

A lawyer for the two journalists also confirmed their release, but did not provide any further detail.

Bangladesh police had said that the pair were detained for engaging in journalistic work for a German magazine while on tourist visas.

More than 422,000 refugees from Burma have poured into Bangladesh since 25 August, when attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts triggered a Burma Army crackdown in response.


Germany’s GEO magazine, which had assigned Minzayar Oo to cover the Rohingya crisis, said he had traveled to Bangladesh on 6 September, and was detained the next day.

Minzayar Oo is one of Burma’s most prominent photographers and has worked for various media outlets, covering the country’s emergence from military rule. He has previously worked as a contractor with Reuters.

Hkun Lat is also a well-known photographer in Burma and has won prizes for his coverage of conflict in frontier regions.


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