US alleges citizen being ‘wrongfully detained’ by Myanmar junta

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
A protester waves the National League for Democracy (NLD) flag while others take part in a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon last yea (AFP via Getty Images)
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The US embassy in Myanmar has said they were aware of the “wrongful” detention of an American citizen, just days after president Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at such detention of US citizens abroad.

"We are aware of the wrongful detention of a US citizen in Burma," a spokesperson with the embassy told news agency AFP.

Although there were no details provided on how long the citizen had been detained, the spokesperson said that the embassy was "providing all appropriate consular assistance."

The state department in its updated travel advisory had determined that “at least one US national is wrongfully detained by the Burmese [Myanmar’s former name] government”.

The Biden administration on Tuesday advised US citizens against travelling to Myanmar over the high risk of wrongful detention. China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela were also clubbed with Myanmar to the “D” group in the travel advisory due to elevated risks.

The fresh detention comes amid the junta's ongoing effort to crackdown on dissent after wresting power in a coup in February last year, claiming massive voting fraud in the 2020 general election.

However, independent election observers have found the allegation to be false.

Since taking over the country, the military has arrested several anti-junta protesters, including foreigners.

Ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to 11 years in prison after being convicted on charges of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies, violating coronavirus restrictions, sedition and a corruption charge.

The US has led countries in condemning the junta’s violent and often bloody clampdown on people protesting against the military rule.

In March 2021, US citizen and journalist Nathan Maung was during a police raid at his media outlet and charged with dissent against the military. He was released months later.

Another American journalist Danny Fenster was detained in May 2021 and handed over an 11-year prison sentence in November for unlawful association, incitement against the military and breaching visa rules. He was pardoned and deported following "face-to-face negotiations" between former top US diplomat Bill Richardson and junta chief Min Aung Hlaing.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting