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US, Britain, Canada issue new Myanmar sanctions one year after coup: US Treasury

US, Britain, Canada issue new Myanmar sanctions one year after coup: US Treasury

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, on Jan 26, 2022. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Pool via REUTERS)

WASHINGTON: The United States, Britain and Canada on Monday (Jan 31) imposed sanctions against officials in Myanmar, in measures timed to mark one year since the military seized power and plunged the country into chaos.

A joint action by the three nations, who have all already imposed sanctions on Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing and other members of the military government, targeted judicial officials involved in prosecutions against deposed Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Washington also slapped sanctions on a directorate responsible for buying weapons for the junta from overseas, an alleged arms dealer and a company it said provides financial support to the junta.

The military have detained Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party since the Feb 1, 2021, coup. The military complained of fraud in a November 2020 election that the NLD won by a landslide. Monitors said the vote reflected the will of the country's people.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the coordinated action demonstrated international support for Myanmar's people and would "further promote accountability for the coup and the violence perpetrated by the regime", citing nearly 1,500 people killed and 10,000 detained by a military seeking to consolidate control.

JUDICIAL OFFICIALS TARGETED

The Treasury said it added a total of seven individuals and two entities to its sanctions list on Monday. They included the junta's attorney general, Thida Oo, whose office it said had crafted politically motivated charges against Aung San Suu Kyi.

Aung San Suu Kyi is on trial in more than a dozen cases and has so far been sentenced to a combined six years in detention. She denies all charges.

The Treasury also listed the Myanmar Supreme Court's chief justice and the chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission, who it said were also involved in the prosecution of Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD leaders.

The action freezes any US assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

Canada announced it was adding the same three judicial officials to its sanctions list. Britain listed the attorney general and corruption commission chair as well as the junta-appointed chair of Myanmar's election commission, according to a statement from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.

Washington also added a Myanmar army directorate responsible for buying arms from overseas; an alleged arms dealer, Tay Za, and his two adult sons; and KT Services & Logistics Company Limited and its CEO, Jonathan Myo Kyaw Thaung.

That company, which Treasury said leases a port in Yangon from a military-owned company for US$3 million a year, is part of KT Group, a conglomerate that has done business with companies from Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

Source: Reuters/ec

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