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Myanmar Junta Arrests Former British Ambassador

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Myanmar Junta Arrests Former British Ambassador

Myanmar security forces have reportedly arrested the former British Ambassador to Myanmar Vicky Bowman. They claim she needed to be questioned about breaches of immigration law.

A statement issued by the military junta stated that, Vicky Bowman’s visa address did not match her residence. She is now allegedly facing a maximum sentence of five years in prison for violating Myanmar’s Immigration Act.

Local media outlets and a person familiar with the situation in Yangon stated that Bowman, who was the UK’s top diplomat in Myanmar from 2002 to 2006, was being detained along with her husband.

The detentions were not officially announced by the Myanmar military government. Reuters and local news outlets The Irrawaddy and Myanmar Now reported that Bowman was being charged under the country’s Immigration Act.

Myanmar Junta Arrests Former British Ambassador

Bowman and Htein Lin are being held in Insein Prison in Yangon, Myanmar

BBC Myanmar reported that the UK embassy confirmed her arrest and that her husband had accompanied her. The official status of the charges remains unknown.

It has been speculated that her arrest is in retaliation for the UK Foreign Offices imposition of sanctions on companies owned by General Min Aung Hlaing‘s son and daughter.

Gen Min’s Myanmar coup and attacks of innocent people were the main reason behind the sanctions.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office officials announced the measures on Thursday “to target military access to arms and revenue.”

There were sanctions against the Star Sapphire Group of Companies, which have ties to Min Aung Hlaing’s daughter Khin Thiri Thet Mon, Sky One Construction, owned by Min Aung Hlaing’s son Aung Pyae Sone Paing, and the International Gateways Group of Companies Limited.

Furthermore, the UK announced that it would join Gambia in the genocide case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice.

Myanmar Junta Arrests Former British Ambassador

According to the UK government, the sanctions come precisely five years after attacks on Rohingya communities in Myanmar’s Rakhine state were carried out by the Junta.

Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet told CNN she was “very concerned” about Bowman’s detention.Bachelet expressed concern about it, saying, “If a former ambassador and her husband have been detained, imagine what has happened to other normal people without influence or countries that can help them.

According to Bachelet, the situation remains grave. “There are many detainees”. There are still air strikes against villages… many houses are burning down. The situation is pretty dramatic.”

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