Myanmar ambassador locked out of embassy suggests he could be killed if he returns to home country
8 April 2021, 09:19 | Updated: 8 April 2021, 16:48
Myanmar's ambassador in London has suggested to Sky News that he could be killed if he returns to his home country.
It comes after Kyaw Zwar Minn was "locked out" of his own embassy in Mayfair on Wednesday evening and spent the night in his car, as his spokesman claimed the building had been seized by a military attaché.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has condemned Myanmar's "bullying military regime" and called for an end to the coup in the Southeast Asian country.
Speaking to Sky's foreign affairs editor Deborah Haynes, Mr Zwar Minn said: "This kind of coup is happening in the middle of the UK, in the middle of London. It shouldn't be happening."
When asked what he wanted the UK to do, he replied: "Move them out."
He was also asked if he would return home if Britain does not support him, to which he said: "Do you want to see me get killed?"
Haynes then asked: "You think you'll be killed if you go home?" Mr Zwar Minn said: "Who knows."
He added: "Please assist our country and help our country because without international assistance, we won't be able to get out of this kind of mess."
Embassy staff are being threatened with "severe punishment" if they do not work for the military junta that seized power in Myanmar on 1 February, his spokesman said.
The UK has been told that Myanmar's regime has formally terminated the ambassador's appointment, the PA news agency reported.
But no formal notification of his replacement is said to have been received.
Mr Zwar Minn was recalled to Myanmar in March and has since stopped following instructions from the country's foreign ministry, his spokesman added.
The ambassador is calling for the release of detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint.
He also wants democracy to be reinstated in Myanmar and the result of the 2020 election to be respected.
Mr Raab tweeted: "We condemn the bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime in London yesterday, and I pay tribute to Kyaw Zwar Minn for his courage.
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"The UK continues to call for an end to the coup and the appalling violence, and a swift restoration of democracy."
Mr Zwar Minn's spokesman said the ambassador was taking the "unusual step" of "issuing a joint statement with the UK foreign office in condemning the coup".
Since the coup, security forces in Myanmar have reportedly killed hundreds of protesters and bystanders in a violent crackdown.
Lisa Nandy, Labour's shadow foreign secretary, said: "Having executed a brutal coup against a democratically elected government, the Myanmar military junta is now applying the very same strong-arm methods here in the UK.
"The foreign secretary must explain why the government has accepted the dismissal of the Myanmar ambassador by what it recognises is an illegitimate military regime committing appalling violence against its own people.
"By standing up to the military junta, Kyaw Zwar Minn has shown immense courage and should be offered any appropriate support and protection.
"The UK must also intensify its work with international partners to increase the pressure on the Burmese military to end the ongoing senseless and barbaric murder of pro-democracy protestors, extending sanctions and continuing to press for a wider arms embargo."