Myanmar junta costs former UK ambassador with immigration offenses


The UK’s former ambassador to Myanmar has been charged with immigration offenses by the nation’s navy junta, it stated in a press release Thursday, after she and her husband had been taken into custody the night time earlier than.

Myanmar authorities alleged the deal with Vicky Bowman had registered to her visa didn’t match her residence, based on navy junta’s assertion. Breaches of Myanmar’s Immigration Act carry a most sentence of 5 years in jail.

On Wednesday night time, Bowman, who served because the UK’s high diplomat in Myanmar from 2002 to 2006, was detained alongside together with her husband, Myanmar nationwide Htein Lin, based on native media shops and an individual in Yangon with information of the state of affairs.

Myanmar’s navy authorities initially didn’t announce the detentions. Nevertheless, native information shops The Irrawaddy and Myanmar Now and the worldwide information company Reuters all reported Bowman may very well be charged underneath the nation’s Immigration Act.

The Irrawaddy reported Bowman and Htein Lin are being held in Yangon’s Insein Jail.

A UK Overseas, Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace spokesperson stated on Thursday the British authorities is “concerned” by the arrest of a “British woman” in Myanmar.

“We are in contact with the local authorities and are providing consular assistance,” the spokesperson stated.

After serving as an envoy, Bowman remained within the nation because the founding father of the non-governmental group Myanmar Heart for Accountable Enterprise.

On Wednesday the UK introduced a recent spherical of sanctions focusing on companies linked to Myanmar’s junta, which took energy in a bloody coup in February 2021. The junta’s assertion on Thursday made no reference to the sanctions.

On Thursday the Overseas, Commonwealth and Improvement Workplace stated the measures had been being taken “to target the military’s access to arms and revenue.”

Among the many companies on the sanctions checklist are the Star Sapphire Group of Firms, Worldwide Gateways Group of Firms and Sky One Development Firm.

The UK authorities highlighted that the sanctions had been being taken precisely 5 years after a sequence of brutal assaults carried out by the Myanmar navy on Rohingya communities dwelling within the nation’s Rakhine state.

The Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim group in Myanmar’s majority Buddhist state, have suffered a long time of persecution.

The UK authorities additionally introduced its intention to intervene in a authorized case that can decide whether or not Myanmar breached its obligations underneath the United Nations’ Genocide Conference relating to the navy’s acts in opposition to the Rohingya in 2016 and 2017.

“Our decision to intervene in The Gambia v. Myanmar case and a further round of sanctions sends a strong signal of our continued support to seek accountability for the atrocities in 2017 and also restrict the military junta’s access to finance and the supply of arms,” UK Minister for Asia Amanda Milling stated.

Milling reiterated the UK’s condemnation of “the Myanmar Armed Forces’ horrific campaign of ethnic cleansing” 5 years on from the marketing campaign’s launch.