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UK sanctions Myanmar military generals for serious human rights violations

February 18th, 2021  •  Author:   United Kingdom (Foreign , Commonwealth & Development Office)  •  4 minute read
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The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced sanctions against members of the Myanmar military for serious human rights violations following the military coup.

From:Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP

Published:18 February 2021

Photo by Hkun Lat/Getty Images

  • three individuals sanctioned for serious human rights violations
  • Foreign Secretary announces new work to stop UK businesses working with Myanmar’s military
  • new measures put in place to ensure UK aid is not diverted from the most vulnerable to the military government

The UK will enforce immediate asset freezes and travel bans against 3 members of the Myanmar military regime for their role in serious human rights violations during the coup, the Foreign Secretary has announced. The measures are being taken in tandem with Canada which is also today announcing action against the regime.

These sanctions are in addition to the sanctions against 16 individuals from the Myanmar military already listed by the UK.

Today’s sanctions, which have been made under the UK’s sanctions regime relating to Myanmar, represent further action by the UK alongside allies to send a message to the Myanmar military that there will be consequences for its human rights violations. The sanctions come into force immediately.

Myanmar’s military and police have committed serious human rights violations, including violating the right to life, the right to freedom of assembly, the right not to be subject to arbitrary arrest or detention, and the right to freedom of expression.

The UK will impose sanctions on:

  • Minister of Defence, General Mya Tun Oo for his responsibility for serious human rights violations by the military
  • Minister for Home Affairs, Lt General Soe Htut for his responsibility for serious human rights violations by the Myanmar Police Force
  • Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Lt General Than Hlaing, for his responsibility for serious human rights violations by the Myanmar Police Force

In response to the coup and subsequent human rights violations, the Foreign Office and Department for International Trade have also launched an enhanced due diligence process to mitigate the risk of military businesses operating in the UK and associated illicit money flows.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

The UK condemns the military coup and the arbitrary detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political figures.

We, alongside our international allies will hold the Myanmar military to account for their violations of human rights and pursue justice for the Myanmar people.

Alongside today’s announcement further safeguards are now being put in place to prevent UK aid indirectly supporting the military led government following the conclusion of an aid review, announced immediately after the coup. Support for government led reforms has been axed and planned programmes will close. Instead the government will put in place measures to ensure aid is reaching only the poorest and most vulnerable in Myanmar

The UK has led a strong, coordinated international response to support the Myanmar people and put pressure on the military. This includes; leading a statement by G7 Foreign Ministers on 3 February; convening an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council and coordinating a statement from all members condemning the coup on 4 February; and co-leading a Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on 12 February.

The UN HRC session secured a resolution, agreed by consensus that called for the immediate and unconditional release of all persons arbitrarily detained in Myanmar, and the lifting of the state of emergency imposed by the military.

View the updated UK Sanctions List.

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