EU sanctions Myanmar individuals, companies

The European Union (EU) has imposed fresh sanctions on 10 individuals and two companies in Myanmar for their alleged involvement in the February 1 military coup.

The individuals “are all responsible for undermining democracy and the rule of law” in Myanmar, and for “repressive decisions and serious human rights violations”, the Council of the EU said in a statement on Monday following a virtual meeting of the bloc’s Foreign Ministers.

In the statement, it said the two entities, Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation Limited (MEC), were large conglomerates “owned and controlled by the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw), and provide revenue for it”.

Pre-existing EU restrictive measures also remain in place, said the press release.

EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to the listed individuals and entities.

A one-year state of emergency was declared in Myanmar after President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other officials from the National League for Democracy (NLD), were detained by the military on February 1.

The military had claimed that there was massive voting fraud in the country’s November 2020 general elections, which saw the NLD win a majority of seats in both houses of parliament.

The February coup has prompted widespread protests, to which soldiers have responded with a violent crackdown on the population.

Nearly 2,850 have been arrested, and at least 598 have been killed, including 48 children, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a non-profit organization.