UK calls for 'immediate' release of Reuters reporters in Myanmar

(COMBO) Reuters journalists Kyaw Soe Oo (L) and Wa Lone (R) were arrested while reporting on atrocities committed during the violent expulsion by the military of some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims last year

Britain called for the "immediate" release of two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar on Monday, saying the verdict had "undermined freedom of the media".

"We are extremely disappointed with this verdict and sentencing and we call for the journalists to be released immediately," said a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, are accused of breaching Myanmar's state secrets law while reporting on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims and were jailed for seven years, fuelling international outrage.

Mark Field, Britain's Minister for Asia and the Pacific, "said he was "extremely disappointed" by the verdict, calling it a "bad day" for Myanmar.

"They provided valuable reporting on abhorrent human rights violations in Rakhine state, and I have consistently called for their immediate release, including directly with the Burmese government," he said in a statement.

"Journalists must be free to carry out their jobs without fear or intimidation," he added.