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BANGKOK – When five Myanmar journalists were sentenced to decade-long prison terms for reporting on an alleged military-run chemical weapons factory a few years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi — then an opposition lawmaker — condemned the harsh punishments as "very excessive."
The journalists had been convicted of violating the Official Secrets Act — the same colonial-era law being leveled against two Reuters reporters who are facing a staggering 14 years behind bars each.
Local media quoted Suu Kyi telling supporters in 2014 that she accepted a concern over national security: "But in a democratic system, security should be in balance with freedom."
As government leader, however, Suu Kyi presides over an administration that has aggressively prosecuted dozens of journalists and made other attempts to suppress and discredit media.