Sean Turnell asked to appear before court in Myanmar over violation of his pardon conditions, says media.
The Myanmar military junta has revoked the prison pardon of an Australian economist and adviser in the country's previous democratic government, who was released last year and returned to his country, local media said.
Sean Turnell, who had served as an adviser to deposed Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, was released in November after spending almost 21 months in prison.
The military junta has revoked his amnesty and ordered him to appear in Myanmar court for allegedly sharing misinformation about Myanmar during his interviews, citing a violation of his pardon conditions, ABC News reported on Thursday.
The Australian government has expressed deep concerns over the latest development, saying it has never accepted the basis for Turnell's detention.
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"The Australian government never accepted the basis of Professor Turnell's detention, nor the charges against him, and we are disappointed that he is now being asked to answer for an undefined offence following his release from detention," the broadcaster said, citing a statement from the Australian Foreign Ministry.
Turnell was an economic adviser to the deposed Suu Kyi when the military took power in a coup in February 2021 and detained him.
Later, a military junta court sentenced the economist to three years in prison on charges of violating the official secret act.
The Myanmar military junta released 5,744 prisoners in November last year, including former British Ambassador Vicky Bowman and her husband Ko Htein Lin, Japanese filmmaker Toru Kubota, and Turnell, who returned to Australia.
However, Suu Kyi and other senior political leaders from her party were not included in the amnesty.
Suu Kyi's government was deposed in a military coup after her National League for Democracy party’s victory in national elections in November 2020.
The coup was met with widespread civic unrest as people denounced her removal and military rule. The junta repressed protests violently, despite UN warnings that the country had descended into civil war.
The junta forces have since killed more than 1,500 people in a crackdown on dissent, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local monitoring group.