LONDON (Reuters) - Britain sanctioned a Myanmar conglomerate on Thursday for its close links to the military leadership which Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said was wantonly killing innocent people including children.
Britain imposed sanctions on the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) for involvement in serious human rights violations by making funds available to the Myanmar military, as well as its association with senior military figures.
“The Myanmar military has sunk to a new low with the wanton killing of innocent people, including children,” Raab said.
“The UK’s latest actions target one of the military’s key funding streams and impose a further cost on them for their violations of human rights.”
Myanmar has been rocked by protests since the army overthrew the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1 citing unsubstantiated claims of fraud in a November election.
At least 538 civilians have been killed in the protests, 141 of them on Saturday, the bloodiest day of the unrest, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has called for international companies to consider cutting ties to enterprises that support Myanmar’s military, welcomed Britain’s action.
“The coup leaders must cease all violence against the people of Burma and restore democracy,” he said.
Britain’s Next on Thursday joined a growing list of European clothing retailers suspending new production orders with factories in Myanmar in the wake of the coup.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Andrew MacAskill and William Schomberg
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