Mr Turnell, 57, was a professor of economics and Myanmar specialist at Macquarie University in Sydney and joined Ms Aung San Suu Kyi as an economic adviser after she was elected in 2015 and began to form her government. . His stated focus was to establish a stable economy and a strong banking system to attract foreign investment and create jobs.
Understand the situation in Myanmar
He is now among more than 15,000 political prisoners arrested since the coup, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners, an independent watchdog group. Three former members of the Ministry of Finance, U Kyaw Win, U Soe Win and U Set Aung, were also tried. Two other foreigners are in prison in Myanmar on unrelated charges: Vicky Bowman, 56, a former British ambassador, and Turo Kubota, 26, a Japanese documentary filmmaker, who was arrested after covering a protest.
Ms Bowman was the British Ambassador to Myanmar from 2002 to 2006, and in 2013 founded the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business, which promotes good business practice. She and her Burmese husband, U Htein Lin, a prominent artist and former political prisoner, were arrested on August 24 and sentenced to one year in prison for violating immigration law by living at an unregistered address.
In another unrelated move, Myanmar on Wednesday sentenced a former doctor-turned-model, Nang Mwe San, to six years in prison for posting provocative photos and videos of herself on pornographic websites. In a statement, the board said it “distributed paid pornographic photos and videos that could harm Myanmar’s culture and dignity.”
In an interview with The New York Times in 2019, when her medical license was taken away, Ms. Mwe San said: “Whatever I face, I will not give up my modeling profession. I just like working as a photo model.” Because she was tried in a local military court, she was not allowed a lawyer and she was sentenced less than two weeks after her first court hearing.