An Unlikely Prisoner: How Sean Turnell Survived Myanmar Prison

For 650 days, Australian man Sean Turnell was held in Myanmar’s terrifying Insein Prison on the trumped-up charge of being a spy.

Turnell details his experiences in his new book, An Unlikely Prisoner, a compelling memoir that takes the reader through a remarkable journey of adversity and resilience in Myanmar.

Listne to today’s episode of The Briefing here:

The book recounts how an impossibly cheerful professor of economics, whose idea of an uncomfortable confrontation was having to tell a student their essay was “not really good”, to how he ended up in one of south-east Asia’s most notorious prisons.

The Unlikely Prisoner joins Tom Tilley on today’s episode of The Briefing to unpack just how he did survive.

Turnell begins the conversation with detailing the conditions of his first hold, which he described was “like a shipping container”.

“It was horrific, very small rooms, sort of like inside a shipping container,” he said.

“Concrete floor, nothing in the room except for a metal chair in the centre with some chains attached to it, and those chains also had some ankle and wrist manacles, and it was locked in that box for two months.

“It was eight steps from one end of the box to the other, and so I used to count that. And again, as a way of, you know, just trying to stay calm.”

The shocking details of his first detainment is just the tip of the iceberg of Turnell’s conversation on The Briefing, before he goes through to detail the allegations made against him and the legal progress taken to obtain his freedom.

It’s an episode you just have to listen to, and if you want more, you can purchase An Unlikely Prisoner  here.

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