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Former British diplomat Vicky Bowman released from Myanmar prison, country’s media reports | World News

The UK’s former ambassador to Myanmar Vicky Bowman, who was jailed for allegedly breaching immigration laws, has reportedly been released.

Myanmar state TV said Ms Bowman and her husband, Burmese artist Htein Lin, were among a number of prisoners released “under amnesty”.

In September, the pair were sentenced to a year in prison for “failing to register as living at a different address” – a violation of the country’s Immigration Act.

Ms Bowman was the British ambassador to Myanmar between 2002 and 2006 and has more than three decades’ experience in the country.

At the time of their detention, she was running an organisation that promotes ethical business practices in Myanmar.

Burmese artist Htein Lin and his wife Vicky Bowman. shot n Htein Lin's studio. Pic: Sarah Lee/Guardian/Eyevine
Vicky Bowman and her husband Htein Lin in his studio. Pic: Sarah Lee/Guardian/Eyevine

Government spokesperson Major General Zaw Min Tun told the Voice of Myanmar and Yangon Media Group that Japanese filmmaker Toru Kubota and Australian economist Sean Turnell, as well as an unidentified American, have also been released and deported.

Mr Turnell, 58, an associate professor in economics at Sydney’s Macquarie University, was arrested by security forces at a hotel in Yangon.

He was sentenced in September to three years in prison for violating the country’s official secrets law and immigration law.

Mr Kubota, a 26-year-old Tokyo-based documentary filmmaker, was arrested in July by plain clothes police in Yangon after taking images and videos of a small flash protest against the military takeover last year.

He was convicted last month of incitement for participating in the protest and other charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The reported release of the trio is said to have come as part of a prisoner amnesty to mark the country’s National Victory Day.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi is still in jail in the country after being sentenced the same day as Ms Bowman to three more years in prison – adding to the 17 years she is already serving for a number of offences, including alleged election fraud.

Ms Suu Kyi’s party won the country’s 2020 general election in a landslide victory, but the military seized power from the elected government on 1 February 2021, saying it acted because of alleged widespread voter fraud.

Sky News has contacted the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for comment.

‘Inspiring’ and ‘courageous’ cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan dies | World News

Vicky Phelan, a campaigner who challenged Ireland’s cervical cancer screening programme, has died aged 48.

The mother of two, from Limerick, died in the early hours of Monday morning.

The Irish prime minister, Micheal Martin, told RTE Radio she had “extraordinary courage” and was someone “who stood up against the system”.

Ms Phelan took legal action after mistakenly getting the all-clear after a smear test in 2011. She was diagnosed with cancer three years later.

Her case prompted others to come forward and raise questions about how women should be involved and informed about their own healthcare, and the issue of open disclosure.

Eventually it emerged that more than 200 women, later diagnosed with cervical cancer, could have been failed by Ireland’s screening programme, CervicalCheck.

Dr Gabriel Scally, who led a review into the programme, said she had “a remarkable effect”, changing healthcare in Ireland to become “a much more patient, sensitive and respectful system”.

Other politicians have spoken about her legacy, with Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald saying Ms Phelan was a “champion of women” who took on the state and won.

Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister, posted on Twitter that Ms Phelan’s death was “very sad news”, adding that she inspired so many people by her “courageous campaigning”.

Former Labour leader Alan Kelly told RTE “she was the most incredible human being probably I’ve ever met” describing her as “resilient” adding she “always fought back”.

A digital artwork of Vicky Phelan is projected onto the GPO in Dublin to mark the release of a feature documentary about her life next week. 'Vicky' tells the story of how the Limerick woman revealed issues with Ireland's cervical screening programme CervicalCheck. It airs in cinemas on October 7. Picture date: Thursday September 29, 2022.
A portrait of Vicky Phelan was projected on to a building in Dublin to mark the release of a documentary about her

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Last month a documentary called Vicky was released in Irish cinemas telling Ms Phelan’s story.

A digital artwork was projected on to the General Post Office in Dublin to mark its release.

Ms Phelan was awarded the freedom of Limerick this year, and was named as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women around the world in 2018.