EU extends Myanmar sanctions, targets minister and judge

Brussels, Belgium AFP

The EU on Tuesday extended its sanctions on Myanmar’s junta, targeting 19 more individuals and entities including a minister and a chief justice.

The measures against Myanmar were announced by the European Council because of “the continuing escalation of violence and grave human rights violations following the military takeover two years ago”.

It was the fifth package of EU sanctions on the southeast Asian country, under military rule since 2020 when the military staged a coup against a civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, now in prison on corruption charges judged spurious by Europe.

Myanmar has been in turmoil under the junta, which faces widespread armed resistance and has responded with a brutal crackdown.

A local rights group says 2,300 people have been killed in the past two years, and the UN children’s agency estimates that one million people have been displaced.

The latest sanctions target Myanmar’s minister of investment and foreign economic relations, Kan Zaw, the supreme court chief justice Htun Htun Oo, and high-ranking military officials.

Also listed were election commission officials and business people representing firms linked to the junta.

In total, 84 individuals and 11 entities in Myanmar now fall under the EU sanctions, which include visa bans and the freezing of assets in the European Union.

Previous sanctions maintained include an embargo on weapons and on equipment that can be used to spy on communications.

“The EU is deeply concerned by the continuing escalation of violence and the evolution towards a protracted conflict which has spread across the country and has regional implications,” the European Council said in a statement.

It added that it would do everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for “human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity” in the wake of the coup.

© Agence France-Presse