Why Did Vicky Bowman and Her Husband Htein Lin Have Been Arrested?

Why were Vicki Bowman and her husband Hedin Lynn arrested?

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British ex-ambassador to Myanmar Vicky Bowman and her husband Hettin Lin have been arrested in Yangon. Both were detained together.

According to Reuters, they were taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with violating immigration laws. It was also reported that they were being brought to Ensign Jail, where they were detained.

According to local media, the two were taken to Yangon’s infamous Inchain prison, known for inhumane treatment of inmates, outbreaks of disease and the presence of rats running amok throughout the facility.

The two men were arrested by the country’s military junta for allegedly violating immigration laws, which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Vicky Bowman
Vicky Bowman

Who is Vicky Bowman?

A joint project of IHRB and DIHR, the new center is now being built in Yangon in collaboration with various stakeholders to promote responsible business behavior across Myanmar.

Vicky Bowman brings a wealth of experience in business, international relations and Myanmar to her current position. A former Burmese-speaking ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ms. Bowman began her career in the diplomatic service at the United Kingdom Embassy in Yangon in 1990. Between 2002 and 2006, he represented the United Kingdom as Ambassador to Myanmar.

Mrs. Bowman has served as 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 Foreign Affairs (1999–2002). Both of these roles were held during the same period (2008-2011 when he was the UK G8 Foreign Affairs Sous-Sherpa).

Ms. Bowman has been employed by Rio Tinto since 2011, during which time she 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 engaged with governments. , civil society organizations and international organizations on how mining investments can best support development.

IHRB Executive Director John Morrison released the following statement:

“We couldn’t be more excited about Vicky becoming a part of our team. His extensive knowledge of Myanmar and his experience in the business world make it essential to be a partner in establishing the new center in Myanmar.

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Alan Lerberg Jorgensen, Department Director of the DIHR, said:

Vicky is one of the foremost authorities on Myanmar and has direct experience with the rapid political changes taking place in the country. Under his leadership, we believe the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business will become a trusted partner to business, civil society and government.

Vicky Bowman’s career

“The effort to establish this center brings together two of my professional and personal interests: Myanmar, and the role that responsible business can play in eradicating poverty and enabling good governance. I am incredibly excited to be able to combine these two areas of interest. To create the center at this critical time of political and economic change in Myanmar will lead It is with great excitement that I return to Myanmar and I look forward to working with all relevant parties to help them make investments and conduct business in Myanmar that is environmentally responsible and compliant with international human rights and labor regulations.

More information about the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business is as follows:
The Myanmar Center for Responsible Business is a brand new initiative that was recently launched with the aim of promoting responsible business practices across Myanmar. The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights join forces to form the Yangon-based Center for Human Rights and Business (DIHR). Access to international expertise and resources will also be available to relevant parties through the Centre, which will also serve as a respectful and neutral venue for dialogue, seminars and presentations. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2011, will be integral to the Centre’s work and activities.

The new Myanmar Center for Responsible Business has set a long-term goal of becoming an independent and self-sustaining organization. This will allow it to fulfill its mission of providing an important platform for businesses, civil society, academia and governments – local and international – to meet, exchange ideas, and build capacity on responsible investment and responsible business practices in Myanmar.

More information on human rights and business can be found at:
Founded in 2009 as a global center 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, not-for-profit think tank. Its name is the Institute for Human Rights and Business. The IHRB provides a safe and neutral forum for dialogue and independent analysis with the goal of increasing awareness and understanding of issues related to human rights and the proper place of business in society. We engage with business, government and civil society to shape public policy and raise corporate standards. This is done to ensure that companies’ activities do not contribute to human rights abuses and instead have beneficial effects.

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More information about the Danish Institute for Human Rights is as follows:
The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) is the country’s national human rights agency and is accredited under the United Nations Paris Principles. The Department of International and Human Rights (DIHR) was established in 1987 as an autonomous state body responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights both nationally and internationally. In the context of our international projects, we collaborate with government actors, national human rights institutions, organizations representing civil society and businesses to protect and advance human rights. Since 1998, we have been working on business and human rights issues. As part of this work, we contribute to the development of knowledge, tools and standards that help all relevant actors to reduce and address the negative human rights impact of business, while also increasing the contribution of the private sector to human rights. – based development.

Hedin Lynn
Hedin Lynn

Who is Hedin Lin?

Vicki Bowman and her husband, Hettin Lynn, had been married for a considerable period of time at this point. They have even taken on the role of parents to their child.

Htein Lin is a writer and artist from Burma. His artistic practice includes performance, installation and painting. In addition, he is on stage in comedy and acting roles.

He was admitted to Rangoon University and was a student there when he participated in the student movement in 1988. The year of his birth is 1966 and he was born in Ingabu located in Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar. After the army took over the country, he fled the country and lived for nearly four years in an ABSDF (Northern Branch) student rebel camp in Bajau, bordering China. It was there that he studied art with Mandalay artist Chit Nain Ai.

The following post was made by Myanmar Now (@Myanmar Now Eng) on ​​Aug 25, 2022:

In 1991 and 1992, he was held captive in Bajau for nine months, along with several other students. At that time, they were subjected to the most brutal physical attacks in the history of the resistance movement.

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Meditating the Vipassana technique on a regular basis, Hetdeen Lin draws a significant amount of her creativity from Buddhist concepts, stories, and philosophy. Between 2006 and 2013, he stayed in London, but in July of that year, he went back to Burma.

Since his return, he has taken advantage of the new climate for reform to create a major documentary and interactive performance titled Show of Hands. As part of the piece, hundreds of Burma’s many thousands of former political prisoners plastered their hands for the project.

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What are Hetdeen Lin and Vicky Bowman suspected of doing after they were arrested in Myanmar?

Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (MCRP) director Vicky Bowman and her husband, Burmese artist and former political prisoner Hetdeen Lin, were reportedly arrested on Wednesday.

The news came just minutes before the United Kingdom was scheduled to announce further sanctions targeting Myanmar’s military regime.

According to sources, the arrest took place in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the capital of Myanmar, then Burma. It is not known why they are being detained, and efforts to obtain a statement from a junta spokesman in Myanmar have been unsuccessful. It is not known on what charges they have been arrested.

According to at least one version of events, authorities allegedly charged Bowman and her husband with violating immigration restrictions.

After being taken into custody, the two were reportedly taken to the notorious Ensign Jail. Similarly, the prison, which houses a significant number of political prisoners, is located outside Yangon, Myanmar’s primary financial center.

A spokesman for the British Embassy in Yangon said the detention of a British woman in Myanmar had raised concerns within the diplomatic service. They engaged in dialogue with officials in the region and provided diplomatic assistance. The individual’s name was omitted by the speaker.

At the same time Bowman was detained, Britain announced additional sanctions against Myanmar companies linked to the military. According to a statement released at the same time, the United Kingdom has joined the case filed against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice.