Pan Ei Mon, the wife of jailed Reuters reporter Wa Lone, gave birth to the couple’s first child this morning. Wa Lone could not be present for his child’s birth because he is being held in Yangon’s Insein Prison while he faces trial for uncovering a military massacre of Rohingya civilians last year.
The baby has been named Thet Htar Angel. Both the baby and the mother are in good health.
Wa Lone and his colleague Kyaw Soe Oo have spent nearly eight months in prison since they were entrapped by police officers who were ordered to prevent the publication of their findings.
“We congratulate our colleague Wa Lone and his wife Pan Ei Mon on the birth of their first child today and send them all our best wishes,” said Stephen J. Adler, the president and editor-in-chief of Reuters, in a statement.
“While this should be a moment of great joy for them, it is sad and troubling that Wa Lone has missed being present at the birth of his daughter as he continues to be incarcerated on baseless charges. We will continue to do all we can to support them during this difficult separation and we remain hopeful that both Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo will be released soon and reunited with their families,” he said.
Rights organizations, free speech advocates, foreign governments, and the UN have called for the two reporters’ immediate release. The Myanmar government has insisted that the courts are independent and conducting the case in accordance with the law.
Pan Ei Mon said: “I’ve wished Wa Lone could be free since before I knew I was pregnant, and now I want him to be free even more. I want to welcome the baby with him. I want him to see the baby. I want him to be released so that we can be together as a family. All that’s left is for him to be free.”