Myanmar government detains former UK ambassador

According to local media outlets and a person from Yangon, Vicky Boman was taken into custody on Wednesday night along with her husband, Myanmar national Hetin Lin.

Myanmar’s military government has not announced the detention. However, local news outlets The Irrawaddy and Myanmar Now and international news agency Reuters all reported that Boman could be charged under the country’s immigration act.

The Irrawaddy said Boman and Hetin Lin are being held in Yangon’s Insen Prison.

A spokesman for Britain’s Office of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development said on Thursday that the British government was “concerned” by the arrest of a “British woman” in Myanmar.

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

Bowman served as the UK’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.

On Wednesday Britain announced a new round of sanctions targeting businesses affiliated with Myanmar’s junta, which took power bloody coup in February 2021.

On Thursday the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said measures were being taken “to target the military’s access to weapons and revenue”.

The companies on the sanctions list include Star Sapphire Group of Companies, International Gateway Group of Companies and Sky One Construction Company.

The UK government highlighted that the sanctions were being imposed just five years after a series of brutal attacks by the Myanmar military on the Rohingya communities living in the country’s Rakhine state.

The Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim group in the majority Buddhist state of Myanmar, have faced decades of persecution.

The UK government also announced its intention to intervene in a legal matter that would determine whether Myanmar violated its obligations under the United Nations Convention on Genocide with respect to military acts against the Rohingya in 2016 and 2017. No.

“The Gambia v Myanmar case and our decision to intervene in another round of sanctions sends a strong signal of our continued support for taking accountability for atrocities in 2017 and also restricting military junta access to finance and arms supplies. does,” said UK’s Asia Minister Amanda Milling.

Milling reiterated the UK’s condemnation of the “horrific campaign of ethnic cleansing of the Myanmar Armed Forces” five years after the campaign’s launch.