Lawyers for two Reuters reporters jailed in Myanmar for breaking a colonial-era official secrets law appealed to the Supreme Court on Friday against their conviction, as a rights group said the government wielded repressive laws against peaceful critics.

The appeal, citing evidence of a police setup and lack of proof of a crime, came as New York-based Human Rights Watch said Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's government had dashed hopes for Myanmar's first democratic leader in decades to protect free speech.

"Our petition asks the Supreme Court to finally provide justice to Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, reverse the lower courts' errors, and order the release of our journalists," Reuters said in a statement.