Australia says two citizens released from Myanmar detention

Yangon, Myanmar | Mon, April 5, 2021 | 8:25 pm

According to Canberra’s foreign affairs department, two Australians who were detained in Myanmar late last month have been released and have left Yangon. After attempting to flee the country on a relief flight in March, business consultants Matthew O’Kane and Christa Avery, a dual Canadian-Australian resident, were put under house arrest.

During their detention and release, Australian officials “provided consular assistance,” according to a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In a tweet, the spokesperson added, “We provided support for their departure from Yangon on April 4th.” “We congratulate them on their release.” In Yangon, the couple owned a bespoke consulting company.

A third Australian, economist Sean Turnell, who was detained a week after the putsch and is an adviser to civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, is still in detention. Following the February 1 coup that deposed the Nobel laureate and threw Myanmar into chaos, the economist and university professor was the first foreign national detained.

The junta is investigating him for suspected immigration and state secrets breaches. Canberra has halted military collaboration with Naypyidaw and urged its people to flee if it is safe to do so.

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