UK announces new sanctions on Myanmar military-linked conglomerate

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UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab
UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab

London [UK], April 1 (ANI): UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on Thursday announced new sanctions against military-linked conglomerate Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) for its involvement in serious human rights violations.

"Today I have announced new sanctions targeting Myanmar military business interests. We are also giving new support to help the @UN Independent Investigative Mechanism gather evidence to hold those responsible for human rights abuses to account," Raab tweeted.

"The sanctions against MEC will be enforced immediately for its involvement in serious human rights violations by making funds available to the military, as well as its association with senior military figures. Designating MEC will prohibit funds and economic resources from being made available to any subsidiaries 'owned or controlled' by MEC as defined by the Global Human Rights sanctions regime," read the UK Foreign Office statement.

Foreign Secretary said the UK's actions were in response to the Myanmar military's brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

"Two months on from the start of the coup, the Myanmar military has sunk to a new low with the wanton killing of innocent people, including children," Raab said in the statement.

"The UK's latest actions target one of the military's key funding streams and impose a further cost on them for their violations of human rights," he added.

The sanctions come as Foreign Secretary announced extra funding to bolster a mechanism to collect, investigate and preserve evidence of serious human rights violations in Myanmar.

According to the UK Foreign Office statement, the UK is contributing half a million pounds to the 'Independent Investigative Mechanism' for Myanmar (IIMM) to increase evidence gathering capabilities, which may in future be used in criminal proceedings.

The 'Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar' was established by the UN Human Rights Council.

On 25 March, the US and UK in a coordinated approach sanctioned a key military conglomerate, Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL), for their role in supporting serious human rights violations against the Rohingya in 2017.

Working with the US and Canada the UK had also sanctioned nine military officers, including the Commander-in-Chief, for their involvement in serious human rights violations in Myanmar.

On February 1, Myanmar's military overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency.

The coup triggered mass protests met by the junta's deadly violence, resulting in more than 500 people having been killed since then. (ANI)