Myanmar’s military junta will release thousands of prisoners, including Myanmar’s former British ambassador and an Australian economist, as part of a prisoner amnesty to mark the country’s National Victory Day.
5,744 prisoners will be released to mark Myanmar’s National Day of Amnesty. One of these includes Australian economist Sean Turnell, who has been detained since seizing power in February 2021. Former British ambassador to Myanmar Vicky Bowman (who was arrested in August) will also be released from jail.
Military rule is in force in Myanmar since the coup of the country’s democratic government on 1 February 2021. Bowman, 56, Britain’s former ambassador to Myanmar, was arrested in Yangon in August along with her husband. Security forces arrested Turnell, 58, an assistant professor of economics at Sydney’s Macquarie University, at a hotel in Yangon in September. He was sentenced to three years in prison for violating the Official Secrets Act and immigration law.
Kubota, 26, from Japan, was arrested in Yangon on July 30 last year. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison last month. He was accused of taking photographs of a demonstration organized against the army’s seizure of power. He was also accused of making videos.