US sanctions Myanmar judiciary officials on coup anniversary

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FILE - Protesters march through the streets during an anti-government demonstration in Mandalay, Myanmar, Dec. 7, 2021. The Biden administration is slapping sanctions on top members of Myanmar's judiciary and one of its main revenue-producing ports over rights abuses since last year's coup. The sanctions on the country's attorney general, supreme court chief justice and others were announced by the Treasury and State Departments to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the February 2021 coup, which replaced a civilian-led government with a military regime. (AP Photo, File)

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration on Monday slapped sanctions on top members of Myanmar’s judiciary and one of its main revenue-producing ports over rights abuses since last year’s coup.

The sanctions on the country’s attorney general, supreme court chief justice and others were announced by the Treasury and State Departments to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the February 2021 coup, which replaced a civilian-led government with a military regime.

The penalties freeze any assets that those targeted may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them and are to be complemented by similar measures from Britain and Canada.

“As long as the regime continues to deny the people of Burma their democratic voice, we will continue to impose further costs on the military and its supporters,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “To the people of Burma: We have not forgotten your struggle. And we will continue to support your valiant determination to bring democracy and the rule of law to your country.”

Among the judiciary, the new sanctions apply to Attorney General Thida Oo, Supreme Court chief justice Tun Tun Oo, and Tin Oo, the chairman of the Myanmar's anti-corruption commission. The sanctions also hit the KT Services and Logistics Company, which operates a major port in Myanmar's economic hub of Yangon, and its CEO as well as the procurement department of the country's defense ministry.

“The United States will continue to work with our international partners to address human rights abuses and press the regime to cease the violence, release all those unjustly detained, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and restore Burma’s path to democracy,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

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This story has been corrected to fix a typo in the first name of the head of the anti-corruption commission to Tin instead of Ton.