Vicky Bowman: Myanmar junta sentences ex-British ambassador to one year in prison

The couple were detained in Yangon last month after being accused by authorities of violating immigration laws.Myanmar military officials alleged that the address Bowman registered on her visa did not match her residence. Violations of Myanmar’s immigration laws carry up to her five years in prison.

Bowman Sentencing Comes Same Day as Myanmar’s Exiled Ex-Leader Aung San Suu Kyi He was convicted of electoral fraud and sentenced to three years in prison.

Bowman was Britain’s top diplomat to the Southeast Asian country from 2002 to 2006. After completing his duties as ambassador, Bowman remained in the country as the founder of the non-governmental organization Myanmar Responsible Business Center.

Bowman, who was Britain’s chief diplomat to the Southeast Asian country from 2002 to 2006, was detained by authorities last month along with her husband, Tin Lin.

Bowman’s husband, Myanmar national Thein Lin, is a noted artist and former political prisoner who spent six and a half years in prison over his role in a student-led uprising against the former military government in 1998. He was released in his 2004.

A spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office told CNN the government “will continue to support Mr Bowman and his family until the case is resolved”.

Ming Yu Ha, deputy regional director for campaigns in East and Southeast Asia at Amnesty International, condemned the news in a statement, calling the ruling “extremely concerning”.

“The latest reports of the conviction of a former British ambassador and her Burmese artist husband are deeply disturbing. We have a track record,” Yu Ha said.

Last month, the UK government announced new sanctions targeting companies linked to Myanmar’s military junta, which came to power in a bloody coup in February 2021.

Meanwhile, Friday’s sentence for Suu Kyi is the latest in a series of punishments handed down against the 77-year-old Suu Kyi, meaning she now faces 20 years in prison.

But it is the first time Suu Kyi, a standard-bearer for opposing the country’s military rule in decades since last year’s coup, has been sentenced to hard labor.

Friday’s trial was linked to the November 2020 general election, in which her National League for Democracy won a landslide victory, defeating the military-created party. seized power to prevent the government from forming, and insisted on electoral fraud.

Suu Kyi and her party deny these allegations and say they won the election fairly.

Rights groups have repeatedly expressed concern over the punishment of pro-democracy activists in the country since the coup. executed two prominent pro-democracy activists Two other men have been accused of terrorism after trials condemned by the United Nations and rights groups.


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