US, Britain, Canada hit top Myanmar justice officials with sanctions

Published February 1, 2022
A group of women hold torches as they protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar in this July 14, 2021 file photo. — Reuters
A group of women hold torches as they protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar in this July 14, 2021 file photo. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: The United States, Britain and Canada hit top Myanmar justice officials with sanctions on Monday on the one-year anniversary of a military coup.

The US Treasury Department placed sanctions on Attorney General Thida Oo, Supreme Court Chief Justice Tun Tun Oo and Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman U Tin Oo, whom it said were closely involved in the “politically motivated” prosecution of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Britain said it was imposing sanctions against Thida Oo, Tin Oo and a third person, U Thein Soe, chair of the country’s election Commission.

“We are coordinating these actions with the United Kingdom and Canada to demonstrate the international community’s strong support for the people of Burma and to further promote accountability for the coup and the violence perpetrated by the regime,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

“The United States will continue to work with our international partners to address human rights abuses and press the regime to cease the violence, release all those unjustly detained, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and restore Burma’s path to democracy,” Blinken said.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Myanmar’s military regime “has attempted to terrorise the people of Myanmar into submission.” “Through fear and violence, they have created division and conflict,” Truss said in a statement.

“The UK will always defend the right to freedom, democracy and the rule of law. With like-minded nations, we will hold to account this suppressive, brutal regime.” The Canadian government in a statement said the military regime had “shown no sign of reversing course” on the humanitarian and political situation in Myanmar in the past year.

It slapped sanctions on the same three regime senior members as Washington, saying they are “using their respective roles to abuse the rule of law and remove political opposition, thus contributing to a grave breach of international peace and the deteriorating security situation.” The United States also separately imposed sanctions against several business leaders and companies accused of providing financial support to Myanmar’s military regime.

Targeted were Jonathan Myo Kyaw Thaung, CEO of the KT Group and director of the KT Group subsidiary KTSL, and Tay Za, owner of “multiple companies known to provide equipment and services, including arms, to the Burmese military.” Htoo Htet Tay Za and Pye Phyo Tay Za, the adult sons of Tay Za, were also designated for sanctions, the Treasury Department said.

Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2022

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