UK imposes sanctions on Burma army leaders as Raab condemns coup

UK imposes sanctions on Burma’s army leaders as Dominic Raab condemns their military coup and demands the release of Aung San Suu Kyi

Britain slapped international sanctions on Burmese military leaders today as  it condemned their military coup and demanded a return to civilian rule.

Dominic Raab announced punitive measures against the Army figures for human rights abuses while seizing power earlier this month and demanded the end of the ‘the arbitrary detention of Aung San Suu Kyi’.

It came amid ongoing civil rights protests in Burma following the military takeover. 

Ms Suu Kyi, whose party won the country’s election last year, was deposed earlier this month and placed under arrest.

The military contends there was fraud in last year’s election, which Ms Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide, and says it will hold power for a year before holding new elections. 

Foreign Secretary Mr Raab said: ‘The UK condemns the military coup and the arbitrary detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political figures.

‘We, alongside our international allies will hold the Myanmar military to account for their violations of human rights and pursue justice for the Myanmar people.’

Dominic Raab announced punitive measures against the Army figures who seized power earlier this month and demanded end of the ‘ the arbitrary detention of Aung San Suu Kyi’.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in recent days in defiance of an order banning gatherings of five or more people

Protesters have been holding placards with pictures of Ms Suu Kyi and demanding the return of democracy

The sanctions will be imposed on defence minister General Mya Tun Oo, home affairs minister Lt General Soe Htut and deputy home affairs minister Lt General Than Hlaing.  

Britain said it would enforce immediate asset freezes and travel bans against the three. 

The Foreign Office has also announced new work to stop UK businesses working with the Burmese military and measures to ensure aid is not diverted to the junta.

The state election commission found no evidence to support the claims of fraud made by the military.

Army chiefs says its takeover is legitimate under a 2008 constitution that was drafted under military rule and ensures it maintains ultimate control over the country.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in recent days in defiance of an order banning gatherings of five or more people, with protestors holding placards with pictures of Ms Suu Kyi and demanding the return of democracy.

Buddhist monks have demonstrated outside the UN’s local office and on Monday in Mandalay, soldiers and police violently broke up a gathering of more than 1,000 protesters in front of the Myanmar Economic Bank.

They attacked the protesters with catapults and sticks, and police could be seen aiming guns into the air amid sounds that resembled gunfire.

Local media reported rubber bullets were fired into the crowd and that a few people were injured.

The government ordered internet access blocked on Sunday and Monday nights without giving a reason.

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