Australian academic Sean Turnell detained


Australian academic Sean Turnell, who was an economic adviser to Myanmar’s overthrown leader, has been detained following the military coup.

The shocking development comes just days after former state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested.

The Macquarie University economic professor began living and working in Myanmar in December 2017.

He served as a special economic consultant to Ms Suu Kyi.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne issued a statement saying she was deeply concerned.

“The Australian Government is deeply concerned about reports of Australian and other foreign nationals being detained arbitrarily in Myanmar,” she said.

“We are providing consular assistance to a number of Australians in Myanmar. In particular, we have serious concerns about an Australian who has been detained at a police station.

“We have called in the Myanmar Ambassador and registered the Australian Government’s deep concern about these events.

“The Australian Embassy in Yangon continues to contact Australians in Myanmar to ascertain their safety, to the extent that communications allow.”

Myanmar’s military seized control on February 1, detaining Ms Suu Kyi and members of the National League for Democracy party.

Senator Payne has previously called on the military in Myanmar to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through lawful mechanisms, and immediately release all civilian leaders and others who have been unlawfully detained.

“We are strongly supportive of the peaceful reconvening of the National Assembly following the elections in November of last year,” she said.



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