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EU: Sanction Burmese Military’s Interests and Implement an Arms Embargo

February 22nd, 2021  •  Author:   Burma Human Rights Network  •  3 minute read
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London/UK — BHRN is calling on the European Union to coordinate an arms embargo and launch targeted sanctions on the Burmese military that include all of their business interests and state enterprise. The EU Foreign ministers are scheduled to meet on today 22nd February to discuss measures they will take in response to the Burmese military’s 1 February coup and their violent suppression of protests since. This weekend saw the death of four protesters who were shot with live ammunition. Two of them were killed instantly after being shot in Mandalay and Yangon on Saturday, and 20-year-old Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing died after being on life support for ten days because she was shot in the head by security forces during a peaceful protest in NayPyiDaw.

“In order for the international community to positively impact the situation in Burma they must act boldly, decisively, and in unison. The EU cannot limit sanction targets only to the military leaders as a symbolic action but must make sure to target their business interests as well. An international coalition must also be formed to create an arms embargo against the Burmese military to prevent them from increasing their arsenal which will only be used to suppress and harm their own people. With the death of four civilians in one weekend the urgency for action is as clear as it has ever been and we hope this is clear to the foreign ministers,” said BHRN’s Executive Director, Kyaw Win.

EU sanctions must also be on the basis of human rights abuses not only for the coup. International coordination for sanctions is crucial for sanctions to have meaningful impact. EU must coordinate with other sanction regimes such as US, UK, Canada.

While calling for targeted sanctions on the military and their interests, BHRN urges that all actions carefully are drafted with consideration for the impact on civilians. BHRN calls on the EU and the rest of the international community to openly support the Civil Disobedience Movement as a legitimate representation of the democratic will of the Burmese people. Finally, the EU must work to ensure that aid continues to reach those in need in Burma without allowing any of it to be diverted to the military.

Background on the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)

BHRN is based in London and operates across Burma/Myanmar working for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in the country. BHRN has played a crucial role in advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.

Media Enquiries
Please contact:

Kyaw Win
Executive Director
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
E: [email protected]
T: +44(0) 740 345 2378

Download the PDF for BHRN’s Press Release