YANGON, Myanmar – The European Union has imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 16 individuals and entities in military-ruled Myanmar, including the energy minister, influential businessmen and senior officers, for “serious” human rights abuses in the country.
Politicians and administrators in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, are also being sanctioned for their alleged involvement in the executions of four pro-democracy activists in July 2022, as well as their oversight of massacres, airstrikes and the use of civilians as human shields during military operations in the country’s northern Kachin state.
“Those responsible for the coup, as well as the perpetrators of violence and gross violations of human rights, must be brought to justice,” the EU said in a statement on Monday.
The EU has condemned the military regime’s human rights abuses, including sexual violence, persecution of civil society workers, human rights activists, journalists and civilians, as well as airstrikes against schools and hospitals, since it took power on 1 February 2021.
Myanmar’s energy minister, Myo Myint Oo, armed forces chief of staff General Maung Maung Aye, navy chief Admiral Moe Aung and the heads of three companies that supply military weapons were among those sanctioned by the EU.
Major General Ko Ko Maung, the regional military commander in Kachin State, was also named by the EU as responsible for serious rights violations for overseeing “airstrikes, massacres, raids, arson and the use of human shields committed by the military in Kachin.” Lieutenant Colonel Myo Myint, a former military judge in Yangon, is accused of being involved in the July 2022 death sentence and execution of pro-democracy activists.
“During his time as a military judge, many opposition members were sentenced to death or prison terms. As a result, he is responsible for serious human rights violations since the 2021 coup,” according to the EU statement.
“The EU reiterates its call for increased international preventive measures, including an arms embargo, to stop the sale and transfer of weapons and equipment that enable military abuses.” The statement added.