Mr. Turnell, 57, was a professor of economics and a Myanmar specialist at Macquarie University in Sydney who joined Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi as an economic adviser after she was elected in 2015 and began forming her government. His stated focus was on establishing a stable economy and a sound banking system to attract foreign investment and create jobs.
Understanding the Situation in Myanmar
He is now among more than 15,000 political prisoners arrested since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an independent monitoring group. Also on trial were three former members of the finance ministry, U Kyaw Win, U Soe Win and U Set Aung. 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 encourages good business practices. She and her Burmese husband, U Htein Lin, a prominent artist and a former political prisoner, were arrested on Aug. 24 and sentenced to one year in prison for violating immigration law by living at an unregistered address.
In another unrelated action, 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 junta said she “distributed paid pornographic photos and videos that could harm Myanmar culture and dignity.”
In an interview with The New York Times in 2019, when she was stripped of her medical license, Ms. Mwe San said, “Whatever I’m facing, I won’t give up my modeling profession. I just like to work as a photo model.” Because she was tried in a local military court, she was not allowed a lawyer and was convicted less than two weeks after her first court hearing.