US Treasury Department issues sanctions against Myanmar military
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US Treasury Department issues sanctions against Myanmar military

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Monday issued sanctions against two individuals and two entities associated with the Myanmar military. The sanctions are in response to the Burmese military’s ongoing crackdown against protestors in the wake of the military’s coup in January.

In a statement, OFAC Director Andrea M. Gacki said, “The Burmese security forces’ lethal violence against peaceful protesters must end.” The statement continues: “Treasury will continue to use the full range of our authorities to promote accountability for the actions of the Burmese military and police.”

The individuals targeted by these sanctions include the Chief of Burmese Police, Than Hlaing. According to the Treasury, Hlaing has overseen the escalation by Burmese police from using anti-riot measures to using live ammunition against unarmed protestors.

The sanctions will also blacklist the 33rd and 77th Light Infantry Divisions of the Burmese Army. The divisions were deployed in Yangon and Mandalay, and per the Treasury statement, indiscriminately fired live ammunition at groups of protestors, killing multiple civilians. The sanctions will prevent anyone associated with these divisions from conducting business with the United States and also freezes any assets such individuals or entities may hold in the US.

The ongoing military crackdown against protestors has resulted in the killing of more than 250 demonstrators so far, sparking a global outcry against the ongoing human rights abuses. The US response to date has been primarily economic. In a statement following the sanctions, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated, “We call again on the military regime to release those unjustly detained, halt the brutal killings, and return power to the democratically elected government.”

JURIST’s ongoing coverage of the Myanmar protests from on-the-ground correspondents can be found here.