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Detained Aussie released from Myanmar prison

Australian economist Sean Turnell will reportedly be released from detention in Myanmar under an amnesty of hundreds of prisoners.

Local media have reported that Mr Turnell is among those to be released and will be deported.
Local independent media outlet Myanmar Now said Mr Turnell would be among those released.

Other foreigners are set to be released as well, including former British ambassador Vicky Bowman and her husband Ko Htein Lin, Japanese filmmaker Toru Kubota and American botanist Kyaw Htay Oo.

The Australian government has responded after reports of Mr Turnell’s release began circulating, issuing a careful statement.

“We welcome reports in relation to Professor Sean Turnell,” Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said on Twitter.

“Professor Turnell continues to be our first priority. As such, we will not be commenting further at this stage.”
Local reports say the release of thousands of prisoners comes as a part of an amnesty granted because of Myanmar National Day.

Mr Turnell was serving as an economic adviser to deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi when Myanmar‘s military seized power in a coup on February 1 last year.
He was detained days later and charged with “violating the country’s official state secrets act”.

He was convicted by a closed junta court and sentenced to three years in prison.

The 58-year-old associate professor in economics has always denied the charges.

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