BRUSSELS: In view of the continuing escalation of violence and grave human rights violations following the military takeover two years ago, the Council adopted today a fifth round of restrictive measures.
The new listings target 19 persons and one entity, including the Minister of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations Kan Zaw, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Htun Htun Oo, high-ranking members of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and Air Force, members of the Union Election Commission, as well as business representatives of private companies closely connected and providing support to the Tatmadaw. The State Administration Council is also included as it plays a central role in undermining democracy and the rule of law in Myanmar/Burma as well as in actions that threaten the peace, security and stability of the country.
Restrictive measures currently apply to a total of 84 individuals and 11 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territory. In addition, EU persons and entities are prohibited to make funds available to those listed.
Other EU restrictive measure will remain in place: the embargo on arms and equipment and export restrictions on equipment for monitoring communications which might be used for internal repression, the export ban on dual-use goods for use by the military and border guard police, and the prohibition of military training and cooperation with the Tatmadaw.
These measures complement the withholding of EU financial assistance to the government of Myanmar and the freezing of all EU assistance, a tool that might be perceived as a means to legitimise the junta.
Two years ago, on 8 November 2020, the National League for Democracy obtained overwhelming and incontestable popular support in the general elections in Myanmar/Burma. The civilian government was overthrown by the Myanmar military on 1 February 2021.
The EU is deeply concerned by the continuing escalation of violence and the evolution towards a protracted conflict which has spread across the country and has regional implications. The EU condemns the continuing grave human rights violations including torture and sexual and gender-based violence, the continued persecution of civil society, human rights defenders and journalists, attacks on the civilian population, including ethnic and religious minorities, and the destruction of private property by the Myanmar armed forces.
The EU will continue to strive to bring to justice all those responsible for the human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the wake of the 1 February 2021 coup in Myanmar.
The EU reiterates the calls for an immediate cessation of all hostilities, respect of international humanitarian law, and an end to the disproportionate use of force. The sustained use of the most despicable forms of violence by the regime against its people, including civilians and children, runs counter to the commitments set out in the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus, to which the Myanmar military regime agreed. The European Union will continue to support ASEAN’s efforts to ensure a peaceful resolution of the current crisis and looks forward to bold decisions vis-a-vis the Myanmar military regime to be agreed on at the upcoming ASEAN Leaders’ Summit in Phnom Penh.The European Union reiterates its calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arbitrarily detained in connection with the coup, including President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
The relevant legal acts have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
In February 2021, the Council adopted conclusions condemning in the strongest terms the military coup carried out in Myanmar/Burma. In this document, the Council called for a de-escalation of the crisis through an immediate end to the state of emergency and the restoration of the legitimate civilian government.
On 25 July 2022, the High Representative issued a declaration on behalf of the EU denouncing the execution of pro-democracy and opposition leaders in the country.
In the absence of any swift improvement in the situation, the EU expressed readiness to adopt further restrictive measures against all persons and entities responsible for undermining the rule of law and for human rights violations in the country.