Myanmar reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were formally indicted by prosecutors in Yangon on Wednesday for breaching the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, which could sentence them to a maximum of 14 years in prison, their lawyer said. The militants were forced to flee and an exodus of some 650,000 Rohingya villagers to Bangladesh followed.
In a rare admission, Myanmar authorities acknowledged in a statement Wednesday that members of the military were involved in the killing of 10 people recently found in a mass grave.
Some Rohingya have accused security forces of committing atrocities against them during the crackdown, which was triggered by deadly attacks by Rohingya insurgents on police outposts.
The two had worked on Reuters coverage of a crisis in the western state of Rakhine, where, according to United Nations estimates, about 655,000 Rohingya Muslims fled a fierce military crackdown on militants. Then members of the security forces shot them dead, the military said.
Serious communal violence between Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists erupted in 2012 and sporadic unrest followed.
The massacre took place on Sept 2 in the village of Inn Din in Rakhine state, the Facebook posting said, as tensions escalated pitting Rohingya against security forces and ethnic Rakhine locals following the killing of a Rakhine man.
"We never made any mistakes, they are trying to stop us and intimidate us", said 31-year-old Wa Lone, as eight police officers ushered him out of the court, his tearful wife still clutching his hand.
"If this is done, the problems in Rakhine state will disappear", he said.
The plight of the Rohingya has received worldwide attention and led to the widespread condemnation of Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was previously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The military investigation was led by Lieutenant General Aye Win.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has painted a gruesome picture of conditions in Rohingya camps inside Rakhine, saying 4800 children suffering from acute malnutrition before the violence erupted in August are no longer receiving life-saving treatment because treatment centres run by non-government-organisations have been looted, destroyed or staff can not access them.
"The first thing you notice when you reach the camps is the stomach-churning stench".
The military has severely restricted access to Rakhine to reporters, aid groups and observers. "Shelters teeter on stilts above garbage and excrement", she recounted.
Mercado said it was extremely hard for Rohingya to leave the camps for medical treatment.
"It is one of the most striking examples of how targeted the burning has been in the military's campaign", Wells said in a phone call.
Rohingya parents were refusing vaccinations because Buddhist security officers accompany those offering to provide them.
The area is largely off-limits to reporters.
"I completely accept the suggestions in his report", he said.
Lindsay Murdoch is a three-time victor of the Walkley Award, Australia's top award for journalistic excellence. In 1999 he covered the tumultuous events in East Timor, and in 2003 he covered the Iraq war while embedded with US Marines.