Australia announces sanctions against Myanmar military, officials
Sydney, Australia, Feb 1 (EFE).- Australia announced Wednesday the imposition of its first financial sanctions and travel bans against the military and high-ranking officials of the current military junta that governs Myanmar for the “atrocious abuses of human rights” against civilians.
The sanctions affect 16 members of the Myanmar’s military regime’s State Administration Council for their role in the coup on Feb. 1, 2021, which plunged the country into a deep political, social and economic crisis, according to a statement from Australian Foreign Secretary Penny Wong released Wednesday.
These are the first vetoes imposed on the current Myanmar military junta by Australia, which until now had not applied measures against the country’s military, for which it has received much criticism from the international community.
The sanctions imposed on the second anniversary of the bloody coup in Myanmar also affect two financial entities controlled by the military junta: Myanmar Economic Public Holdings Ltd and Myanmar Economic Corporation.
The foreign ministry said that in the last two years, Australia, together with its international partners, “have repeatedly called” on the Myanmar regime to “engage in a constructive dialogue and find a peaceful and lasting solution to the current crisis.”
However, “despite these calls, the regime has continued its anti-democratic actions against the people of Myanmar, including violence and recent steps directed against opposition voices.”
“The military regime has responded violently to any form of political expression, including violent protests. There is evidence of thousands of civilians, including minors, who have been imprisoned, tortured or killed,” she said.
The coup in Myanmar led to a spiral of violence and a brutal crackdown by security forces, who have shot to kill peaceful and unarmed protesters, leaving some 2,800 dead, including 278 minors, as well as more than 13,600 detainees, according to data from the Myanmar NGO Association for the Support of Political Prisoners.
Australia also announced Wednesday new sanctions against the Basij Cooperative Foundation and 16 senior police, political and military officials – including those of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – for “horrendous human rights abuses” in the country.
They are accused of being involved in the violent crackdown on protests following the death of Mahsa “Jina” Amini, allegedly after she was beaten in September by Iranian law enforcement after she was detained for improperly veiling her face.
The country imposed financial sanctions on four Iranians and four institutions linked to the production and distribution of drones to Russia to attack both the Ukrainian population and the civil infrastructures of this country invaded by Russian forces on Feb. 24. . EFE