EU extends sanctions against Myanmar, targeting ministers and judges

The EU on Tuesday extended its sanctions against the Myanmar junta and targeted 19 other individuals and entities, including a minister and a chief judge.

The measures against Myanmar were announced by the European Council because of “the continued escalation of violence and serious human rights violations following the military takeover two years ago”.

It was the fifth set of EU sanctions against the Southeast Asian country, which has been under military rule since 2020, when the military staged a coup against a civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, now jailed on corruption charges considered by Europe to be be misclassified.

Myanmar has been in turmoil under the junta, which has faced widespread armed resistance and has responded with brutal crackdowns.

A local human rights group says 2,300 people have been killed in the past two years and the UN Children’s Fund estimates a million people have been displaced.

The latest sanctions target Myanmar’s Minister of Investment and External Economic Relations Kan Zaw, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Htun Htun Oo and senior military officials.

Also listed were officials from the electoral commission and businessmen representing companies linked to the junta.

A total of 84 people and 11 entities in Myanmar are now under the EU sanctions, which include visa bans and asset freezes in the European Union.

Previous sanctions that have been maintained include an embargo on weapons and equipment that can be used to spy on communications.

“The EU is deeply concerned at the ongoing escalation of violence and the development into a protracted conflict that has spread across the country and has regional implications,” the European Council said in a statement.

She added that she will do everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for “human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity” after the coup.