Myanmar Junta Detains Former British Ambassador and her Artist Husband

By The Irrawaddy 25 August 2022

Myanmar’s military regime has arrested Britain’s former ambassador to Myanmar, Vicky Bowman, along with her husband, Ko Htein Lin, a renowned artist and former political prisoner.

The couple were arrested on Wednesday night at their home in Yangon and were taken to the notorious Insein Prison on Thursday, where hundreds of political prisoners are being detained, sources close to the family told The Irrawaddy.

The sources said that the former UK ambassador and her husband would face immigration charges. A court hearing for the couple is scheduled for September 6.

Her arrest came as Britain imposed further sanctions on three military-linked companies including Sky One Construction Co, of which Aung Pyae Sone, the son of coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, is a director.

“We are concerned by the arrest of a British woman in Myanmar,” a UK embassy spokesperson told AFP. “We are in contact with the local authorities and are providing consular assistance.”

Vicky Bowman served as the UK’s envoy to Myanmar from 2002 to 2006, and was second secretary in the embassy from 1990 to 1993.

Since 2013, Bowman has been the director of the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (MCRB), an initiative to encourage responsible business activities throughout Myanmar. She is a fluent Burmese Speaker.

Her husband Ko Htein Lin is a famous artist who was jailed by the previous military dictatorship between 1998 and 2004.

In 2015, under the ousted civilian government, he showcased a series of sculptures in the ‘Show of Hands’ exhibition to highlight the plight of political prisoners.