Statement on Professor Sean Turnell

  • Media release
06 February 2022

Australian Professor Sean Turnell was detained by the Myanmar military one year ago today.

Professor Turnell's detention is unjust, and we reject the allegations against him.

We once again call for Professor Turnell's immediate release so that he can return to Australia to be with his family and for his rights and welfare to be upheld.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, our Embassy in Yangon and Australian officials around the world take every opportunity to advocate for Professor Turnell. Australia acknowledges the strong international support shown for him. We will continue to work with international partners – and importantly those in our region – to press his case.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing all possible consular assistance to Professor Turnell. This includes ensuring he is able to speak to his family and to the Australian Embassy, and supporting his health and welfare in detention. DFAT is also providing consular assistance to Professor Turnell's family.

Consistent with basic standards of justice and transparency, we expect that Professor Turnell should have unimpeded access to his lawyers, and that Australian officials be able to observe his court proceedings.

We will continue to advocate strongly for Professor Turnell until he has returned to his family in Australia. We ask that his family's request for privacy continue to be respected.

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