Former British ambassador jailed for a year in Myanmar

Vicky Bowman was detained last month for failing to declare she was not living at the address listed on her foreigner's registration certificate

Former British ambassador to Myanmar and executive director of the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business Vicky Bowman. Bloomberg
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Myanmar's junta on Friday jailed a former British ambassador to the country and her husband for a year for breaching immigration rules, a diplomatic source told AFP.

Vicky Bowman and her husband, prominent Burmese artist Htein Lin, were sentenced to a year each, according to a source.

Ms Bowman, who served as envoy from 2002 to 2006, was detained last month for failing to declare that she was living at an address different to the one listed on her foreigner's registration certificate.

Htein Lin was arrested for helping his wife to reside at an address different to their registered home in Yangon.

The couple could have been jailed for up to five years.

A spokesman for Britain's Foreign Office said: “We will continue to support Ms Bowman and her family until their case is resolved.”

Myanmar artist Htein Lin in his studio in Yangon in 2015. AFP

Before serving as ambassador, Ms Bowman was the second secretary in the British embassy from 1990 to 1993.

Htein Lin was arrested in 1998 and imprisoned for six years after opposing the rule of a previous junta.

Ties between Myanmar and former colonial ruler Britain have soured since a coup last year, with London imposing several rounds of sanctions on businesses and individuals with ties to the military.

Updated: September 02, 2022, 10:28 AM