Myanmar military junta arrests former UK ambassador Vicki Bowman
Vicki Boman was arrested along with her husband, Myanmar national Htin Lin, on Wednesday night, according to local media and a person in Yangon with knowledge of the situation.
Myanmar’s military government did not announce the arrests. However, local news outlets The Irrawaddy, Myanmar Now and international news agency Reuters each reported that Bauman could be charged under the country’s immigration law.
The Irrawaddy newspaper reported that Bauman and Hein Lin are being held at Insein Prison in Yangon.
A spokesman for Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said on Thursday the British government was “concerned” about the arrest of a “British woman” in Myanmar.
“We are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance,” the spokesperson said.
Bowman was Britain’s top diplomat in Myanmar from 2002 to 2006 and has since remained in the country as the founder of the non-governmental organization Myanmar Center for Responsible Business.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said on Thursday that steps were being taken to “target the military’s access to arms and income”.
Among the companies on the sanctions list are Star Sapphire Group of Companies, Gateways International Group of Companies and Sky One Construction.
The British government has pointed out that the sanctions were imposed exactly five years after a series of brutal attacks by the Burmese military against Rohingya communities living in Rakhine state.
The Muslim-majority Rohingya community in the Buddhist-majority state of Myanmar has endured decades of persecution.
The UK government has also announced its intention to intervene in a court case that will determine whether Myanmar breached its obligations under the UN Genocide Convention in relation to military actions against the Rohingya in 2016 and 2017.
“Our decision to intervene in the Gambia v. Myanmar case and a new round of sanctions send a strong signal of our continued support for holding accountable the atrocities committed in 2017 as well as restricting the junta’s access to funding. and arms supply,” the British minister said. for Asia Amanda Milling.
Melling reiterated the UK’s condemnation of “the horrific campaign of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Myanmar Armed Forces” five years after the campaign was launched.
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