Mannequin fearing Myanmar army heads to asylum in Canada


BANGKOK (AP) — A style mannequin from Myanmar who feared being arrested by the nation’s army authorities if she was pressured again house from exile has flown to Canada, which she says has granted her asylum.

Thaw Nandar Aung, also referred to as Han Lay, left on a flight from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport early Wednesday morning, in line with Archayon Kraithong, a deputy commissioner of Thailand’s Immigration Bureau. He stated he was not approved to disclose her vacation spot.

Thaw Nandar Aung informed Radio Free Asia, a U.S.-government funded broadcaster, on Tuesday that she was headed to Canada, after having been been granted political asylum there with the help of the UNHCR and the Canadian Embassy in Thailand.

“All the pieces occurred so quick, and I solely have a number of items of clothes. So I should go together with what they’ve deliberate for me,” she stated.

“I’ve spoken out for Myanmar wherever I am going. I’ve talked to the media about my nation whereas I used to be staying in Thailand. Since Canada is a protected place for me, I’ll have extra alternatives to talk out on the difficulty. And as you already know, there’s a massive Myanmar group in Canada, so I’m certain I’ll have the ability to keep it up the wrestle for Myanmar with their assist.”

A telephone name to the Canadian Embassy looking for remark was not instantly returned.

Thaw Nandar Aung had been caught at Bangkok’s airport after Thai authorities denied her entry when she arrived Sept. 21 from a brief journey to Vietnam. She has been residing in Thailand however wanted to depart and enter once more so as to prolong her keep.

Whereas on the airport she met UNHCR representatives in an effort to keep away from being despatched again to Myanmar. Folks denied entry to Thailand are normally deported to their final level of departure, however the U.N. company suggested her she can be arrested in Vietnam after which repatriated to Myanmar. A Thai Overseas Ministry spokesperson stated she had been denied entry into Thailand “attributable to a difficulty together with her journey doc.”

Thaw Nandar Aung denounced her nation’s army rulers final yr from the stage of Miss Grand Worldwide magnificence pageant held in Bangkok. She accused them of selfishness and abusing their energy for utilizing deadly pressure to crush peaceable protests, and appealed for worldwide assist for her nation.

Myanmar’s army seized energy in February 2021 from the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi and has cracked down closely on widespread opposition to its rule. Critics, together with actors and different celebrities, have been arrested on expenses that carry penalties starting from three years’ imprisonment to loss of life.

In July, authorities executed 4 activists who had been accused of involvement with terrorist actions, and U.N. specialists have described the nation’s violence as a civil battle.

Thaw Nandar Aung stated she was charged in absentia in September final yr with sedition for talking out towards the army takeover on the pageant and on-line. The cost carries a most penalty of 20 years in jail.

New York-based Human Rights Watch accused Myanmar’s army authorities of revoking or in any other case interfering with Thaw Nandar Aung’s passport, making her “the sufferer of a deliberate political act by the junta to make her stateless when she flew again from Vietnam to Thailand.” It stated the tactic was used towards different critics as nicely.

“There isn’t a doubt that what transpired was a entice to attempt to pressure Han Lay to return to Myanmar, the place she would have confronted instant arrest, probably abuse in detention, and imprisonment,” Phil Robertson, the group’s deputy Asia director stated in an emailed assertion. “Thankfully, she obtained good recommendation to remain put on the airport, and await the form of safety she wanted. This was a victory for rights, and refugee safety.”


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