BHRN Applauds Sanctions on Burmese Generals But Calls for Further Action

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July 23, 2019

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London, UK — The Burma Human Rights Network welcomes the public designation of four senior military figures by US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, but calls on the United States to follow with targeted sanctions against military owned companies and businesses. The four military figures were Burma’s Military Commander and Chief, Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Soe Win, Brigadier General Than Oo, and Brigadier General Aung Aung. The US sanctioned the four for their roles in crimes in northern Rakhine State against the Rohingya and what the State Department described as ethnic cleansing. The designation will prohibit travel to the United States for the four generals and their immediate families but does not affect them economically.

“The State Department’s public designation of Min Aung Hlaing and three others is a major step in acknowledging and punishing their cruel and inhumane actions against the Rohingya and other minorities inside of Burma. We would like to thank Mr. Pompeo and the dedicated staff at the State Department for taking these steps but we also ask them to go further as the military will not be thwarted from committing further crimes by symbolic actions alone. We are hopeful that targeted sanctions against military owned companies and businesses will follow, and that other nations will do the same. It is time that the world recognises the awful crimes committed by these men and that they are held accountable,” said BHRN Executive Director, Kyaw Win.

As Commander and Chief of the Burmese Military, Min Aung Hlaing is responsible for genocide against the Rohingya and leads military atrocities in current conflicts against the Rakhine and Kachin communities. The Military in Burma maintains a constitutionally mandated 25 percent control of the Parliament with veto power, effectively allowing Min Aung Hlaing to serve as a shadow dictator. Recognising his role and destructive influence in the country is vital to its progression towards democracy and peace.

BHRN calls on the rest of the international community to follow the lead of the United States in designating and sanctioning Min Aung Hlaing and all other high ranking military figures involved in human rights abuses and other atrocities. BHRN also calls upon the United States to impose economic sanctions against these individuals, including military owned companies and businesses and all others directly involved in atrocities throughout Burma. It is imperative that these men are isolated, cut off economically, and pressured to relinquish power to allow a free and peaceful future for all people living inside of Burma. Targeted sanctions against Burmese military figures must include their business interests and partners operating in the country and abroad to ensure their effectiveness.

Organisation’s Background
BHRN is based in London, operates across Burma and works for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in Burma. BHRN has played a crucial role advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.

18 July 2019

Media Enquiries
Please contact:
Kyaw Win, Executive Director
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
T: +44(0) 740 345 2378