Australia Calls for Release of Economist Jailed by Burma

By Reuters
October 1, 2022Australia
Australia Calls for Release of Economist Jailed by Burma
Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong takes part in a meeting with Vietnam's President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 27, 2022. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP via Getty Images)

Australia rejects the court ruling in Burma (also known as Myanmar) against Australian Professor Sean Turnell and calls for his immediate release, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said on Friday.

A closed court in military-ruled Burma on Thursday sentenced deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Turnell to three years in prison on charges of violating the official secrets act, a source familiar with the proceedings said. The source declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Aung San Suu Kyi
Burma’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during an event at the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York on Sept. 21, 2016. (Bria Webb/Reuters)

“The Australian government has consistently rejected the charges against Professor Turnell during the more than 19 months he had been unjustly detained by the Myanmar military regime,” she said, adding Australia will continue to advocate for his release and return to Australia.

Both Suu Kyi and Turnell had pleaded not guilty to the charges they faced, which carry a maximum sentence of 14 years.

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