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UK and Canada sanction Myanmar military generals over serious rights abuses

The United Kingdom and Canada announced that they are imposing sanctions on individuals responsible for serious human rights violations against the people of Myanmar during the coup. 

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced that three Myanmar military generals will face travel bans and their assets will be frozen under the UK's sanctions regime. 

"Myanmar’s military and police have committed serious human rights violations, including violating the right to life, the right to freedom of assembly, the right not to be subject to arbitrary arrest or detention, and the right to freedom of expression," the UK said in a statement

Raab also announced that further safeguards are being implemented to prevent UK aid from indirectly supporting the military led government as well as "enhanced due diligence process to mitigate the risk of military businesses operating in the UK and associated illicit money flows," the statement added. 

In coordination with the UK, Canada also announced that they will be sanctioning nine Myanmar military officials, under the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations. 

Last week, US President Joe Biden issued an executive order to sanction ten individuals, including Myanmar's acting president, after a young protester was shot in the head by Myanmar police. 20 year old, Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing died yesterday after being on life support. 

"This is the devastating consequence of the security forces' reckless use of lethal weapons against peaceful protesters," Amnesty International's Director of Crisis Response, Joanne Mariner, said in response to the protester's death. 

"Instead of issuing blanket denials, the Myanmar military authorities should launch a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into her killing and other reports of unnecessary and excessive use of force by the security forces," she added. 

The military seized control on February 1 over claims of a fraudulent November 2020 election where Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won a majority.  Since the military takeover, tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Myanmar to denounce the coup and call for the immediate release of Ms Suu Kyi. 

Myanmar's security forces have fired rubber bullets and live ammunition as well as deploying water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters.  

Ms Suu Kyi who is under house arrest is currently facing two charges; the possession of illegally imported walkie-talkies and for breaking Covid-19 regulations. 

Read more from The Guardian here and the BBC here



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