For the past five weeks, the people of Burma have taken to the streets to protest peacefully and voice their aspirations for the return of the democratically elected government, human rights, the fundamental freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression, and the rule of law. In response, Burmese security forces – at the behest of military leaders – unjustly detained and brutally attacked unarmed protesters, journalists and killed at least 126 people since the February 1 coup.
“We condemn these horrific attacks,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement. “We condemn the ongoing arrests and the detentions of more than 1,700 political leaders, doctors, human rights defenders, journalists, union leaders, and regular people exercising their rights. And we condemn the military leadership that has enabled this violence against its own people.”
The United States is determined to take further steps to promote accountability for those responsible for the coup, and to target those who benefit financially from their connections to the military regime. Secretary Blinken announced that the United States is designating the two adult children of armed forces Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, Aung Pyae Sone and Khin Thiri Thet Mon, as well as six entities owned or controlled by these individuals, pursuant to Executive Order 14014.
Aung Pyae Sone and Khin Thiri Thet Mon have long used their connections to the Commander-in-Chief for personal enrichment. “The leaders of the coup, and their adult family members, should not be able to continue to derive benefits from the regime as it resorts to violence and tightens its stranglehold on democracy,” said Secretary Blinken.
“We will continue to work with a broad coalition of international partners to promote accountability for coup leaders, those responsible for this violence and other abuses, and those who benefit financially from the regime,” said Secretary Blinken. These sanctions are directed at those responsible for the coup and not the people of Burma.
The United States calls on the international community to speak with one voice in support of the people of Burma who, in spite of the violence perpetrated by Burmese security forces, continue to demonstrate courage and determination in their efforts to reject the military coup.
Secretary Blinken urged “the military to restore the democratically elected government, cease all attacks on peaceful protesters, immediately release all those unjustly detained, and stop attacks on and intimidation of journalists, civil servants, and activists.”