October 26, 2021

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Promoting Accountability and Responding to Violence against Protestors in Burma

20 min read

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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