In this combination file image made from two photos, Reuters journalists Kyaw Soe Oo, left, and Wa Lone, are handcuffed as they are escorted by police out of the court in Yangon, Myanmar. File picture: Thein Zaw/AP

Yangon - A Myanmar judge rejected an appeal on behalf of two jailed Reuters reporters on Friday, upholding an earlier ruling that has been denounced by world leaders and rights groups.

Reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested in December 2017, while they were reporting for the news agency on a military massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslims.

They were accused by police of possessing "secret government documents" and charged under Myanmar's Official Secrets Act. They were sentenced to seven years in prison in September 2018.

"We are very disappointed about today's judgment," said defence lawyer Than Zaw Aung following the rejection of the appeal, adding that the decision would have a "negative impact" on the country and its media.

The appeal argued that the original trial was conducted in an "unjust manner" and called for the reporters' immediate release.

dpa