Why Did Vicky Bowman and Her Husband Htein Lin Have Been Arrested?
Vicky Bowman, the former British ambassador to Myanmar, and her husband, Htein Lin, have been arrested in Yangon. The two were taken into custody together.
According to Reuters, they were taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with breaking immigration laws. Furthermore, it was reported that they were being brought to Insein prison while being held in detention.
According to the local media, the two were taken to Yangon’s infamous Insein Prison, which is known for its inhumane treatment of prisoners, prevalence of sickness, and presence of rats that run amok throughout the facility.
According to a source with knowledge of the matter, the two individuals were taken into custody by the military junta of the country for allegedly infringing immigration laws, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison.
Who Is Vicky Bowman?
The new Center, which is a joint project of the IHRB and DIHR, is now being constructed in Yangon with cooperation from a variety of stakeholders1 in order to promote responsible business conduct throughout Myanmar.
Vicky Bowman offers a wealth of experience in the fields of business, international relations, and Myanmar to her current post. Ms. Bowman, a Burmese-speaking former ambassador for the United Kingdom, started her career in the diplomatic service in the year 1990 with the United Kingdom Embassy in Yangon. Between the years 2002 and 2006, she represented the United Kingdom as ambassador to Myanmar.
Ms. Bowman has also served in the roles of Director of Global and Economic Issues at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as a Member of the Cabinet of Chris Patten, the European Commissioner for External Relations (1999-2002). These roles were both held during the same time period (2008-2011 when she was also UK G8 Foreign Affairs Sous-Sherpa).
Ms. Bowman has been employed by Rio Tinto since 2011, during which time she has led the implementation of the company’s commitment to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, developed the company’s industry-leading approach to transparency, and collaborated with governments, civil society organizations, and international organizations on how mining investments can better support development.
IHRB Executive Director John Morrison made the following statement:
“We couldn’t be more excited about Vicky becoming a part of our team. Her extensive knowledge of Myanmar and her experience in the business world will be essential in the establishment of the new Centre as a partner that supports and empowers local and national actors in the pursuit of responsible economic development that is to the benefit of all of the people of Myanmar.
Allan Lerberg Jorgensen, Department Director at DIHR said:
“Vicky is one of the foremost authorities on Myanmar, and she has direct experience with the swift political shifts that are taking place in the country. We are convinced that under her guidance, the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business will become a trusted partner to business, civil society, and the government in the process of constructing a successful future for Myanmar that is founded on freedom and dignity for everyone.
Career Of Vicky Bowman
“The effort to establish this Centre brings together my two professional and personal passions: Myanmar, and the role that responsible business can play in alleviating poverty and enabling good governance. I am incredibly excited to be able to combine these two areas of interest.” It is with great excitement that I will be returning to Myanmar to create and head the Center during this pivotal time of political and economic transition in Myanmar. I very much look forward to cooperating with all of the relevant parties in order to assist them in making investments and conducting business in Myanmar in a manner that is both environmentally responsible and compliant with international human rights and labor norms.
Additional information on the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business is as follows:
The Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business is a brand-new initiative that was recently launched with the goal of promoting responsible business practices across the entirety of Myanmar. The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights are working together to develop the Yangon-based Center for Human Rights and Business (DIHR). Access to international expertise and resources will also be made available to relevant parties through the Centre, which will also serve as a reputable and neutral place for conversation, seminars, and briefings. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were unanimously approved by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2011, will be essential to the mission and operations of the Centre.
The new Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business has set a long-term objective of becoming an independent and self-sustaining entity. This will allow it to fulfill its mission of providing a crucial platform for businesses, civil society, academics, and governments – both local and international – to meet, exchange ideas, and build capacities relating to responsible investment and responsible business practices in Myanmar.
More information on the Institute for Human Rights and Business can be found as follows:
Established in 2009 as a global centre for policy and practice on the relationship between business and internationally recognized human rights principles and standards, the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is a dynamic, non-profit think tank. Its name stands for the Institute for Human Rights and Business. IHRB provides a safe and neutral forum for conversation and independent analysis with the goal of increasing awareness and comprehension of issues pertaining to human rights and the proper place for business in society. We engage with business, government, and civil society to develop public policy and raise corporate standards. This is done to ensure that the operations of firms do not contribute to the violation of human rights and, instead, result in beneficial consequences.
Additional information on the Danish Institute for Human Rights is as follows:
The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) is the country’s national human rights institution, and it has received accreditation in accordance with the Paris Principles of the United Nations. The Department of International and Human Rights (DIHR) was established in 1987 as an autonomous state organization with the responsibility to safeguard and promote human rights both nationally and internationally. Within the context of our international programs, we collaborate with governmental actors, national human rights institutions, organizations representing civil society, and businesses in order to preserve and advance human rights. Since 1998, we have been working on issues relating to business and human rights. As part of this work, we contribute to the development of knowledge, tools, and standards that make it possible for all relevant actors to minimize and address the negative human rights impact of business, while also increasing the contribution of the private sector to human rights-based development.
Who Is Htein Lin?
Vicky Bowman and her husband, Htein Lin, have been married for a considerable amount of time at this point. They have even taken on the role of parents for their child.
Htein Lin is a writer and an artist who hails from Burma. His artistic practice includes performance, installation, and painting. In addition, he has been on stage in comedic and acting roles.
When he took part in the student movement in 1988, he was enrolled at Rangoon University and was a student there. His birth year was 1966 and he was born in Ingapu, which is located in the Ayeyarwady Region of Myanmar. After the military took control of the country, he fled the country and lived for almost four years in an ABSDF (Northern Branch) student rebel camp at Pajau on the Chinese border. It was there that he studied art with the Mandalay artist Sitt Nyein Aye.
The following post was made by Myanmar Now (@Myanmar Now Eng) on August 25, 2022:
In the years 1991 and 1992, he was held captive at Pajau, together with a number of other students, for close to nine months. During that time, they were subjected to some of the most horrific physical attacks in the annals of the resistance movement.
Htein Lin, who meditates using the vipassana technique on a consistent basis, draws a significant amount of his creativity from Buddhist concepts, stories, and philosophy. Between the years 2006 and 2013, he was based in London, but in July of that year, he moved back to Burma.
Since his return, he has taken advantage of the new climate for reform to create a big documentary and interactive performance piece titled A Show of Hands. As part of the piece, hundreds of Burma’s many thousands of former political prisoners had their arms cast in plaster for the project.
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What are Htein Lin and Vicky bowman suspected of doing that got them arrested in Myanmar?
Reportedly taken into custody on Wednesday were Vicky Bowman, director of the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB), and her husband Htein Lin, a Burmese artist and former political prisoner.
The news surfaced just minutes before the United Kingdom was scheduled to announce further sanctions aimed at the Myanmar junta.
According to the sources, the arrest took place in Yangon, which was formerly known as Rangoon and is the capital of Myanmar, which was formerly known as Burma. It is unknown why they are being held in custody, and attempts to get a statement from a junta spokesman in Myanmar were fruitless. It is unknown what charges they are being held on.
Officials are said to have accused Bowman and her husband of breaking immigration restrictions, at least according to one version of events.
After being remanded in custody, the two were reportedly being transported to the notorious Insein prison. In a similar vein, the prison, which is home to a significant number of political prisoners, can be found just outside of Yangon, which is the primary financial hub of Myanmar.
According to a spokesman for the British Embassy in Yangon, the detention of a British woman in Myanmar raised concerns within the diplomatic mission. They were engaging in conversation with the authorities in the region and providing consular assistance. The name of the individual was omitted by the spokeswoman.
At the same time that Bowman was taken into custody, Britain announced additional penalties against Myanmar enterprises that had connections to the military. According to a statement that was issued at the same time, the United Kingdom has joined the lawsuit that was filed against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice.