ICAR and Co-Signers Submit Letter to President Trump in Support of Sanctions on Burmese Military and Security Forces

Washington, D.C. (January 17, 2018) – The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), Human Rights First, and six other civil society and labor organizations sent a letter to President Trump today commending him for issuing Executive Order 13818, which significantly expands the administration’s authority to sanction human rights abusers. We further ask the Trump administration to invoke this authority and impose sanctions on the most senior leaders of the Burmese military and security forces to apply further pressure to end the atrocities in Burma.

The EO builds on the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and permits sanctions to be issued against actors engaged in “serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.” The EO has already been used to sanction Maung Maung Soe, a former chief of the Burmese Army’s Western Command who oversaw military operations responsible for widespread human rights abuse against Rohingya civilians in Burma’s Rakhine State. This action demonstrates the U.S. government’s concern for the persecution of the Rohingya.

The sanctions imposed on Maung Maung Soe are an important first step in ending the abuses against the Rohingya. However, the scale of the atrocities, combined with the clear role of the Burmese military, mean that sanctioning only one person is unlikely to stop the harm. Instead, targeted sanctions should be issued against all of those most responsible for the abuses. Given the command structure of the Burmese military, it is imperative that additional targeted sanctions are issued against the most senior leaders of the Burmese military and security forces.

The letter can be viewed here.

For additional information please contact Heather Cohen, ICAR’s Legal & Policy Associate, at heather@icar.ngo.