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UK ex-ambassador to Myanmar, husband arrested on visa offence

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Vicky Bowman runs a centre whose aim is to ensure businesses respect human rights

Myanmar’s military authorities have arrested the UK’s former ambassador to Myanmar, Vicky Bowman, and her husband. She has been accused of breaking visa rules, and her husband with helping her to stay in Myanmar – charges that could result in up to five years in jail.

Ms Bowman served as ambassador in Myanmar from 2002-2006. She is married to Htein Lin, a Burmese artist and former political prisoner. She runs the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business, based in Yangon.

The pair have been sent to Insein prison in the city, with a trial scheduled for 6 September. The UK embassy say they are providing consular assistance to her.

The arrest came as the UK announced fresh sanctions against the military authorities in Myanmar – coinciding with the fifth anniversary of its crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in the country. Britain’s sanctions targeted “military-linked businesses” in Myanmar.

“They are being sanctioned in an effort to limit the military’s access to arms and revenue,” a statement said.

Credit: bbc.com

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