Promoting Accountability and Responding to Violence against Protestors in Burma

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

For the past five weeks, the people of Burma have taken to the streets to protest peacefully and voice their aspirations for a return to democracy and the rule of law.  In response, Burmese security forces – at the behest of military leaders – have brutally and lethally attacked unarmed protesters, killing at least 53 people since the coup.  We condemn these horrific attacks.  We condemn the ongoing arrests and the detentions of more than 1,700 political leaders, doctors, human rights defenders, journalists, union leaders, and regular people exercising their rights.  And we condemn the military leadership that has enabled this violence against its own people.

Today, the United States is taking further actions to respond to the violence enabled by Burma’s military leaders, to promote accountability for those responsible for the coup, and to target those who benefit financially from their connections to the military regime.  Thus, the United States is designating the two adult children of armed forces Commander-in-Chief (CINC) Min Aung Hlaing, Aung Pyae Sone and Khin Thiri Thet Mon, as well as six entities owned or controlled by these individuals, pursuant to Executive Order 14014.  Aung Pyae Sone and Khin Thiri Thet Mon have long used their connections to the CINC for personal enrichment.  The leaders of the coup, and their adult family members, should not be able to continue to derive benefits from the regime as it resorts to violence and tightens its stranglehold on democracy.

We will continue to work with a broad coalition of international partners to promote accountability for coup leaders, those responsible for this violence and other abuses, and those who benefit financially from the regime.  We will not hesitate to take further action against those who instigate violence and suppress the will of the people.  These sanctions are directed at those responsible for the coup, in support of the people of Burma.

This builds on March 4 actions by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to establish new restrictions on exports and reexports to Burma, and transfers within Burma, of sensitive items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).  BIS also added to the Entity List two entities responsible for the coup – the Ministries of Defense and Home Affairs – as well as two military-operated entities, Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) and Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL).

The United States calls on the international community to speak with one voice in support of the people of Burma who, in spite of the brutal violence perpetrated by Burmese security forces, continue to demonstrate courage and determination in their efforts to reject the military coup.  We urge the military to restore the democratically elected government, cease all attacks on peaceful protesters, immediately release all those unjustly detained, and stop attacks on and intimidation of journalists, civil servants, and activists.

For more information about today’s actions, see the Treasury Department’s press release .

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    What GAO Found In April 2020, GAO identified 21 priority recommendations for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since then, EPA has implemented six of those recommendations by, among other things, taking actions to better track and promote water utilities' implementation of asset management and updating its guidance on testing for lead in drinking water at schools. In June 2021, GAO identified seven additional priority recommendations for EPA, bringing the total number to 22. These recommendations involve the following areas: assessing and controlling toxic chemicals; reducing pollution in the nation's waters; ensuring cybersecurity at EPA; addressing data, cybersecurity, and risk communication issues for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure; managing climate change risks; and protecting the nation's air quality. EPA's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations. Why GAO Did This Study Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations. For more information, contact Mark Gaffigan at (202) 512-3841 or gaffiganm@gao.gov.
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  • United States Files False Claims Act Complaint Against Drug Maker Teva Pharmaceuticals Alleging Illegal Kickbacks
    In Crime News
    The United States has filed a False Claims Act complaint against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. and Teva Neuroscience Inc. (Teva), alleging that they illegally paid the Medicare co-pays for their multiple sclerosis (MS) product, Copaxone, through purportedly independent foundations that the companies used as conduits in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Department of Justice announced today. 
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  • Department of Defense: Eating Disorders in the Military
    In U.S GAO News
    The Department of Defense (DOD) screens for eating disorders for all applicants entering into the military but does not specifically screen servicemembers for eating disorders after entrance. However, after joining the military, servicemembers receive annual health screenings, and medical personnel may be able to diagnose eating disorders during in-person physical exams. Service branch behavioral health specialists told GAO that DOD medical personnel are trained to notice signs of eating disorders, such as changes in vital signs and emaciated appearance. DOD is examining ways to improve its screening of eating disorders in the military and recently expanded the available research funding for eating disorders in its Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). DOD provides health care services to approximately 9.5 million eligible beneficiaries, including services to treat those diagnosed with eating disorders, through TRICARE, DOD’s regionally structured health care system. Servicemembers can obtain these services at military treatment facilities—referred to as direct care—or receive care purchased from civilian providers—referred to as purchased care. DOD officials told us that the specialized level of care necessary to treat eating disorders is available to TRICARE beneficiaries through purchased care, rather than direct care. The Defense Health Agency (DHA), which oversees the TRICARE program, uses two contractors to develop regional provider networks. According to the two TRICARE contractors’ data for purchased care, as of spring 2020, there were 166 eating disorder facilities located in 32 states throughout the country and the District of Columbia. The facilities vary by geographic location, population served, and level of treatment provided: Geography: About half of the 166 facilities (79) are located in the following five states: California (24), Florida (18), Illinois (15), Texas (13), and Virginia (nine).  Population: Of the 166 eating disorder facilities, over three-quarters provide treatment to both adult (132 facilities) and child and adolescent (132 facilities) populations. Level of Treatment: Most facilities provide inpatient hospitalization programs, which are for serious cases requiring medical stabilization (81 facilities); partial hospitalization, which are day programs providing treatment 5 to 7 days a week (133 facilities); or intensive outpatient programs, which are treatment programs providing therapy 2 to 6 days a week (107 facilities). About one-fifth of the facilities (35) provide residential treatment services, which are living accommodations providing intensive therapy and 24-hour supervision. TRICARE contractors have met with some challenges entering into contracts with eating disorder treatment facilities in certain areas of the country, according to DHA officials and both contractors. However, both contractors told GAO they consider it their responsibility to ensure beneficiaries receive the care they need regardless of the location of the facility. No access-to-care complaints related to eating disorder treatment were reported by TRICARE beneficiaries, according to the most recent DHA data for years 2018 through 2019. Eating disorders are complex conditions affecting millions of Americans and involve dangerous eating behaviors, such as the restriction of food intake. They can have a severe impact on heart, stomach, and brain functionality, and they significantly raise the risk of mortality. Many with eating disorders also experience co-occurring conditions such as depression. Research has yielded a range of estimates of the number of servicemembers with an eating disorder, due to differences in research methods. For example, a 2018 DOD study concluded that servicemembers likely experienced eating disorders at rates that are comparable to rates in the general population, while other survey-based research suggested the number of servicemembers with eating disorders may be higher than those with a medical diagnoses of such disorders. The potential effects that eating disorders can have on the health and combat readiness of servicemembers and their dependents underscores the importance of screening and treating this population. GAO was asked to provide information on eating disorders among servicemembers and their dependents. To describe how DOD screens for eating disorders among servicemembers, GAO reviewed DOD policies related to health screening and interviewed behavioral health specialists from the military branches. To understand approaches and challenges with implementing screening in a military environment, any planned or ongoing DOD-sponsored research related to this topic, and available eating disorder treatment, GAO interviewed representatives from the Eating Disorder Coalition, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, and the University of Kansas. To describe how DOD provides eating disorder treatment to servicemembers and their dependents, GAO interviewed DHA officials and TRICARE contractors and reviewed the TRICARE policy manual to identify the types of eating disorder diagnoses and treatments that are covered through direct and purchased care. GAO received data from the two TRICARE contractors related to the availability of eating disorder treatment services as of spring 2020. For more information, contact Sharon Silas at (202) 512-7114 or Silass@gao.gov.
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  • Assistant Secretary Schenker Travel to Jordan, Algeria, and Morocco
    In Crime Control and Security News
    David Schenker, [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Reaches Agreement with San Luis Obispo County Jail to Ensure Safe and Equal Access to its Programs for Inmates with Mobility Disabilities
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department today reached a settlement under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with San Luis Obispo County, California, to ensure that inmates with mobility disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in San Luis Obispo Jail’s (SLO Jail) programs, services and activities.
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  • Study Coordinator Charged in Scheme to Falsify Clinical Trial Data
    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury in Miami, Florida, returned an indictment today charging a Florida woman with conspiring to falsify clinical trial data regarding an asthma medication. 
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