The Australian government sought Sean Turnell’s “immediate release” on Thursday in response to a Myanmar court’s decision to sentence him to three years in prison.
According to foreign minister Penny Wong, Australian citizen Turnell was found guilty in a closed court without access to a consular official, who also criticized the decision.
According to Wong, after the scholar was detained under the Official Secrets Act, Australia would “fight aggressively” for Turnell until he was returned to his family.
Turnell, detained since Myanmar’s February 2017 coup, served as a government advisor under deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
According to Wong, in the 19 months that Turnell has been “unjustly held by the Myanmar military dictatorship,” Australia has disputed the allegations.
She said, “The Australian government asks for his immediate release and condemns the court’s decision from today.