Myanmar’s military authorities have detained former UK ambassador to the country Vicky Bowman and her husband Hetain Lin. News agency Reuters and AFP reported the information citing anonymous sources.
Vicky Bowman currently runs the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (MCRB). Her husband Hetain Lin is a Burmese artist and former political prisoner. They were reportedly detained in Yangon on Wednesday. Four sources told Reuters and the AFP news agency the information.
The Myanmar military did not comment on the report.
Bowman, 56, served as ambassador to Myanmar from 2002 to 2006 and has more than 30 years of experience in the country.
Her husband Htoin Lee (55) is one of Myanmar’s most famous artists and a veteran activist who spent more than six years in prison for opposing the military regime.
A spokesman for the UK embassy in the country said it was “concerned at the arrest of a British woman in Myanmar”, without naming Bowman.
‘We are liaising with local authorities and providing consular assistance,’ the spokesman said.
Reports of Bowman’s arrest came as the UK on Thursday announced new sanctions targeting military-linked businesses in Myanmar in support of the Southeast Asian country’s Rohingya community in an effort to limit the military’s access to arms and revenue.
‘We stand in solidarity with the Rohingya people and condemn the Myanmar Armed Forces’ campaign of ethnic cleansing,’ Amanda Milling, the UK government’s minister for Asia, said in a statement.