Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were convicted in September in a troubling case that sparked concerns among human rights groups and raised questions about Myanmar's commitment to democracy.
File photos show Wa Lone (left) and Kyaw Soe Oo arriving at Insein court in Yangon, Myanmar.
The trial of the pair was widely criticised, with human rights groups and global governments accusing the Myanmar regime of using the courts to target the two reporters for their reporting on the military-led massacre of Rohingya muslims in the village of Inn Din in Rahkine. "We now call on its highest political officials to pardon these journalists as quickly as possible so that they can be reunited with their families".
High Court judge Aung Naing maintained that the pair had failed to follow journalistic ethics, saying that the original seven-year sentence was a "suitable punishment" for the reporters.
The defense has the option of making a further appeal to the Supreme Court in Naypyitaw.
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, the OIDA report said, adding that 17,718 (±780) Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar's army and police. "We can not stand by and accept this antidemocratic decision.Journalists must have the freedom to report the facts and to defend, expose and advance the truth without fear of retaliation, violence, imprisonment or being killed". They told the appeal court the lower court that tried the case had wrongly placed the burden of proof on the defendants.
The UN recommended that top Myanmar military commanders be investigated for genocide, and called out Myanmar's civilian leader, former pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to stop the violence or even to acknowledge it. Myanmar state media under her control had roundly rejected anti-Rohingya atrocity allegations as "fake news".
The defence also said prosecutors had failed to prove the reporters gathered and collected secret information, sent information to an enemy of Myanmar or that they had an intention to harm national security.
At the time of the arrest they were probing a massacre of 10 Rohingya.
Reacting to the verdict outside the court the European Union ambassador to Myanmar Kristian Schmidt said he looked to the president to "correct" the injustice.
"We thought that they would be free today", she said.
Speaking to AFP just before the verdict was due, Reporters Without Borders representative Daniel Bastard said it would be "utterly devastating" if the court upholds the verdict.