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BREAKING NEWS: PM Clarify the Case of Professor Sean

Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Hun Sen posted a message on his official Facebook page apologizing for confusing the information of the release of an Australian professor which he requested to the Myanmar military leader.

This morning, I mentioned the release of the detained Australian professor, whom I have requested to Myanmar's military leader. Apparently this Australian professor has not been released by Myanmar yet” the premier wrote. "This confusion is because I received the wrong information, which I apologize for this unintentional mistake." He added.

Immediately after the release of his message, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on the night of 7 February stated, “after an announcement by Samdech Techo Prime minister, during the inauguration ceremony for the official use of National Road No. 7 in Kratie province this morning, regarding the release of Prof. Sean Turnell, an Australian national detained in. Myanmar, confirmation on this issue was sought by many”.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation clarified that "this announcement was due to a false information and that Prof. Turnell still remains in detention."

The spokesman said that this was an unintended incident, and recalled that "during his talks with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, had raised the issue of Prof. Sean Turnell and received from the Senior General the assurance that the latter would reconsider the case once the court process is over."

Sean Turnell is an adviser to the former Myanmar leader, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi. He was arrested last February after a military coup. Turnell, a professor of economics, has been charged with violating Myanmar's state privacy law and is facing maximum sentencing of 14 years in prison.

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