Australia is considering sanctions on Myanmar Regarding an academic detained
Australia is considering sanctions on Myanmar Regarding an academic detained

Australia: Australia is considering imposing sanctions on Myanmar, as a result of the detention of Sydney academic Sean Turnell, according to Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles.

According to Mr Marles, the federal government "will not rest" until Professor Turnell is safely delivered to his Australian family.

Asked on Friday about the timing of the federal government's decision on potential sanctions, Mr Marles replied, "It's all a matter that's being worked out right now."

"Professor Turnell's safe return to this country is our main concern in the context of our engagement with Myanmar," he told reporters.

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi is also being tried along with Professor Turnell for breaching the country's official secrecy law.

He made his first court appearance this week, pleading not guilty, 18 months after he was reportedly detained by Myanmar's military.

His lawyers are not allowed to discuss the matter.

The Macquarie University economics professor had advised Suu Kyi, who was still detained after a military coup overthrew her elected government.

Mr Marles said on Friday he was unable to provide further details about Professor Turnell's Australian consular assistance.

He announced that he was concerned with the way Professor Turnell's case was being handled.

“We expect there to be transparency, the administration of justice, and the administration of procedural fairness.

Australian journalist Cheng Lei, who has been detained in China for more than two years, has also been the target of advocacy efforts by the federal government, according to Mr Marles.

According to Mr Marles, "we are concerned about (Ms. Cheng's) access to justice and procedural fairness."

We will continue to provide all consular support, access and services to Cheng Lei for her plight.

"We will strongly advocate for Cheng Lei for China," the statement said.

On Wednesday, the Chinese ambassador stressed that Ms Cheng's rights were "well protected".

Don't worry, Mr. Xiao assured the National Press Club, "There are some Australian citizens in China who are being held in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations. Their fundamental rights are well protected.

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