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Canada, U.K., U.S. issue new Myanmar sanctions on coup anniversary


Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States on February 1, 2022, imposed sanctions against additional 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 nations, who have already imposed sanctions on commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and other junta members, targeted judicial officials involved in prosecutions against Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Washington also imposed 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 has detained Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, and members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party since the February 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 people.

U.S. 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.

A United Nations team of investigators on Myanmar said it was preparing files that could facilitate prosecutions against those responsible for atrocities committed over the past year.

“Those who are considering committing crimes should be aware that serious international crimes have no statute of limitations,” Nicholas Koumjian, head of the Geneva-based Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, said in a statement.

The U.S. Treasury said it added seven individuals and two entities to its latest sanctions list. They included the junta’s attorney general, Thida Oo, whose office the Treasury Department 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 Department 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 U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally bars U.S. citizens from dealing with them.

Canada announced it was adding the same three judicial officials to its sanctions list. The U.K. announced it was listing the attorney general and corruption commission chair as well as the junta-appointed chair of Myanmar’s election commission.

Washington also added the Myanmar army’s procurement directorate, which it said buys weapons overseas; alleged arms dealer Tay Za and his two adult sons; and KT Services & Logistics Co. Ltd. and its CEO, Jonathan Myo Kyaw Thaung.

The company, which the Treasury Department said leases a port in Yangon from a military-owned company for U.S. $3 million a year, is part of the conglomerate KT Group.

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