Myanmar’s envoy to UK ‘locked out of London embassy’

Kyaw Zwar Minn barred access to London embassy as violence continues in his country with more than 600 dead.

Video Transcript

- Release the detainee!

- Right now! Right now!

- Free Myanmar! Free, free!

JONAH HULL: Protesters at the Myanmar embassy in London. Where on Wednesday night, ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn was locked out. Allegedly by his deputy and the military attache. Last month, the ambassador, a former army Colonel himself, had broken ranks, criticizing the coup on February the 1st and calling for the release of the country's Democratic leaders. In the morning he returned and spoke to reporters outside. He said embassy staff were now taking orders from the military attache.

So is this, then, the formal reprisal of the military for your comments last month, do you think? Yes.

KYAW ZWAR MINN: The instruction from the capital, they are obeying their orders all well. This is their decision.

JONAH HULL: He said his own options did not likely include returning to his country.

KYAW ZWAR MINN: You want me you see get killing?

- You think that you'll be killed if you go home?

KYAW ZWAR MINN: Who knows.

JONAH HULL: In what may be one of his last journeys in an official diplomatic car, Kyaw Zwar Minn headed to a meeting at the UK's Foreign Commonwealth And Development office.

In a statement, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had earlier said, "We condemn the bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime in London yesterday, and I pay tribute to Kyaw Zwar Minn for his courage. The UK continues to call for an end to the coup and the appalling violence, and for a swift restoration of democracy."

The British government has imposed sanctions on Myanmar military interests since the coup, but it's not clear what more can be done now. A foreign office spokesman said Myanmar's military authorities had given notice that they'd terminated the ambassador's position, a decision the government accepts.

What is it you'd like the British government to do, sir? Open the doors?


JONAH HULL: Kick them out?


JONAH HULL: Kyaw Zwar Minn says he considers himself still to be the ambassador here in London. But The Foreign Commonwealth And Development office does not. This country has a long-standing tradition of recognizing states, not countries. And so it is the military in Myanmar that has authority over what happens inside this building.

Jonah Hull, Al Jazeera, London.