“One day in prison was already an injustice. This appalling farce must end now. Myanmar authorities must release the two journalists immediately and unconditionally,” she said.
“They must also ensure that the people of Myanmar have the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, including by repealing or amending the oppressive laws that are used against journalists, activists and human rights defenders.”
The reporters’ legal team can lodge an appeal with Burma’s supreme court, but a presidential pardon would be an alternative option to securing their release.
Win Myint, the current president, is viewed, however, as a loyalist to Aung San Suu Kyi. Once a long-time political prisoner herself, Ms Suu Kyi has shown little sympathy for the young men’s plight and in September denied that they were jailed because they were journalists.
Ms Suu Kyi’s international standing has already been severely damaged by accusations from UN investigators that she failed to use her “moral authority” to stop the military’s extreme violence against the Rohingya.
Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary, who made earlier pledges to champion the journalists’ cause, on Friday called on Ms Suu Kyi to take a “personal interest” in the case. “We are very worried about due process in this case,” Mr Hunt told BBC radio.