Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Former UK ambassador among prisoners freed in Myanmar

Myanmar’s military has freed a number of opposition figures, as well as a former UK ambassador, a Japanese filmmaker and an Australian adviser to the country’s ousted civilian leader. Ex-diplomat Vicky Bowman and journalist Toru Kubota were jailed earlier this year, while economist Sean Turnell was detained soon after the 2021 coup. All three have flown out of the country after being deported. (https://news.yahoo.com/vicky-bowman-former-uk-ambassador-032055614.html) Ms Bowman served as the UK’s envoy to Myanmar between 2002 and 2006 and was running the Yangon-based Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) at the time of her arrest. A fluent Burmese speaker, she is a well-known member of Myanmar’s small international community. Her husband Htein Lin, a former political prisoner, was also on the list of those to be freed. The couple were detained when they returned to the city from a home they have in Shan State. Military authorities charged them both with failing to register her as living at a different address. The military said some 6,000 pardons were to mark Myanmar National Day.

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