Australia

Australian Myanmar detainees Christa Avery and Matthew O’Kane set free

An Australian who was detained in Myanmar says she and her husband have been freed from house arrest and may leave the country without charge.

Christa Avery and her husband Matthew O’Kane were refused permission to leave Myanmar last month when they were about to board a flight home.

The country has been in turmoil since a military coup on February 1 that ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

“I am, of course, incredibly relieved to have been released and to be on my way home with my husband Matt,” Ms Avery said in a statement.

“Even though I knew that I had done nothing wrong, it was very stressful being held under house arrest for 2 weeks.”

Anti-coup protesters line in formation with homemade air rifles during a demonstration against the military coup. Photo: AAP

Another Australian, Sean Turnell, an economic adviser to Ms Suu Kyi, has been detained since shortly after the army seized power and is in prison.

“I hope that even if Sean cannot be released very soon, he can, at least, be moved to house arrest for his physical, mental and emotional wellbeing,” M Avery said.

Sean Turnell and wife Ha Vu. Dr Turnell is detained in Myanmar. Photo: Facebook

Authorities have said Dr Turnell is under investigation, but no charge has been announced against him.

A lawyer for MSuu Kyi said last week that he understood Dr Turnell faced charges under the Official Secrets Act, but no charges have been confirmed.

More than 2500 people have been detained since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group.



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