Myanmar Junta Shadowbans Opposition Passports

The military junta in Myanmar has revoked the passports of dozens of its leading opponents, including senior ministers in the civilian National Unity Government (NUG) and several high-profile pro-democracy activists.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported Friday it obtained seven documents sent by Myanmar’s embassy to other diplomatic missions in Canberra and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

According to ABC, the documents listed about 70 Myanmar citizens, with their details and passport numbers. 

The names included prominent Myanmar civilian politicians and anti-junta dissidents like NUG Foreign Affairs Minister Zin Mar Aung and National League for Democracy lawmaker Aung Kyi Nyunt.

The documents addressed to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia and all Diplomatic Missions in Canberra, provided a list of revoked passports, saying the “following ordinary Myanmar Passports have been declared null and void,” and request that the said passports “shall not be recognized if presented.”

“This is quite consistent with all the attempts of the military since the coup to silence any voices of opposition or dissent — or simply those calling for democracy,” Human rights lawyer and member of the Special Advisory Council to Myanmar, Chris Sidoti said.

In June, Myanmar student groups have accused the country’s embassy in Canberra of intimidation and foreign interference after it sent letters to Myanmar government scholars in Australia, demanding they pledge loyalty to the military junta, ABC reported.

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