The United Kingdom announced sanctions against individuals and groups involved in human rights abuses from Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and North Korea.
The Myanmar sanctions target Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and his deputy Soe Win for their role in “the systematic and brutal violence against the Rohingya people and other ethnic minorities.”
The sanctions freeze any assets that the individuals may have in the UK and impose a visa ban on future visits.
The decision further cements Min Aung Hlaing’s position as a global pariah, but some say it doesn’t go far enough. Burma Campaign UK called it a glorified “holiday ban” and said the UK should “target the military as an institution” by preventing British companies from doing business with Tatmadaw-linked companies.
Meanwhile, the apparent discriminatory treatment of Rohingya continues, with 23 jailed for immigration violations after returning from Bangladesh.
The ruling seems to confirm fears that new, harsh COVID-19 immigration restrictions would be applied with racial prejudice against the Rohingya.
Many Myanmar nationals returned through informal border checkpoints from Thailand and China with no repercussions, but State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi promised “severe” punishments once people started returning from Bangladesh. Returnees include ethnic Rakhine, but so far punishment seems to have only been applied to the Rohingya.