The European Union (EU) imposed sanctions on Monday on eight Myanmar officials – including the country’s police and navy chiefs – responsible for deadly crackdowns on pro-democracy protests and for cutting the internet in the wake of the junta’s Feb. 1 coup.
The sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes on the attorney general, five ministers and two deputy ministers and are the third round of restrictions imposed by the EU since the military takeover.
Three “economic entities” active in the gems and timber sectors, either state-owned or controlled by the military, have also had their assets frozen “to restrict the junta’s ability to profit from Myanmar’s natural resources.”
Also sanctioned is the War Veterans Organization, which provides support to former members of the Myanmar military.
“The individuals targeted by the sanctions are responsible for undermining democracy and the rule of law and for serious human rights violations in the country,” the EU said, while stating that the four entities blacklisted contribute “directly or indirectly to the military’s revenues or activities”.
Among the five ministers sanctioned are Lieutenant General Soe Htut of the Home Affairs Ministry. The ministry controls the Myanmar Police Force which, along with the military, has been responsible for brutal crackdowns on anti-regime protesters.
Admiral Tin Aung San, navy chief and Transport and Communications Minister, is among the eight individuals targeted by the latest sanctions. His ministry was responsible for cutting internet access in March in an effort to stifle pro-democracy demonstrations.
The others ministers sanctioned include Border Affairs Minister Lieutenant General Tun Tun Naung, Planning, Finance, and Industry Minister U Win Shein and Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Minister U Khin Maung Yi.
Two deputy ministers blacklisted are Major General Aung Lin Tun of the Defense Ministry and Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun of the Information Ministry. The Brig-Gen is the leader of the regime’s information team as well as the junta’s spokesperson.
Attorney-General Daw Thida Oo has also been targeted by the sanctions.
Coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and his deputy were previously sanctioned in March.
A total of 43 individuals and 6 entities related to the regime are now subject to EU sanctions. Those restrictions include asset freezes and a prohibition from making funds available to the listed individuals and entities. All the listed persons are also subject to a travel ban that prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territory.
Myanmar has been reeling socially, economically and politically since the democratically-elected government led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was ousted by the junta in February.
Anti-regime protests following the takeover were lethally crushed by regime security forces, sparking international condemnation as well as sanctions by the United States and the EU.
As of Monday, at least 837 people have been killed nationwide by junta forces, while thousands more have been detained.
Over four months on from the coup, the regime is still unable to control the country. Formerly peaceful protesters are now taking up arms in response to military rule and deadly bombings and shootings targeting the regime are now taking place weekly.
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