A Myanmar judge on Monday found two Reuters journalists guilty of breaching a law on state secrets and jailed them for seven years, in a landmark case seen as a test of progress towards democracy in the Southeast Asian country.
As calls mount for Myanmar's military leaders to face an global tribunal, they have remained defiant, insisting last year's crackdown was a proportionate response to attacks by Rohingya militants on border posts.
The journalists testified that they did not solicit or knowingly possess any secret documents.
Monday's verdict was postponed from a week ago.
In the latest U.S. expression of concern, Washington's envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the Trump administration expected to see the two journalists acquitted of all charges.
US Ambassador Scot Marciel said the "deeply troubling" verdict could undermine the confidence the Myanmar people had in the justice system.
The journalists were arrested in December after meeting with police in a restaurant.
They told the court they had been invited to dinner by police in Yangon, who handed them documents. In May, President Win Myint pardoned 58 Rohingya returnees who were arrested after they tried to cross back into Myanmar on their own.
"This is a flagrant violation of our country's democratic process and press freedom". "The trial was a travesty of justice", she told reporters on her first day as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The verdict has also been derided by leading European nations with France, Germany and Britain all issuing firm statements in response.
Bachelet said of the reporters: "I think the information they gave on the massacre was of public interest".
The judge said most of the counter-arguments by the defendants' lawyers and the journalists were "irrelevant" or "illogical".
Both men have been in custody for nearly nine months. Wa Lone's wife, Pan Ei Mon, gave birth to the couple's first child in Yangon on August 10, but Wa Lone has not yet seen his daughter.
Kyaw Soe Oo's wife wept after the judge delivered the verdict.
"The outrageous convictions of the Reuters journalists show Myanmar courts' willingness to muzzle those reporting on military atrocities", said Mr Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
The decision comes amidst the release of a United Nations-led study which accuses the country's army chief of "genocide" among other charges which led to the ongoing humanitarian crisis for the now stateless Rohingya Muslims.
However, it claimed the villagers and soldiers carried out revenge attacks against what it called "Bengali terrorists".
Myanmar's military has repeatedly denied that it has deliberately attacked unarmed Rohingya.
"We call for the journalists to be released immediately".
Reuters published a special investigation earlier this year that featured Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo's bylines.
The pair had been gathering evidence about the execution of 10 men in the village of Inn Din in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State.
How were the Reuters reporters arrested?