The Department of State has banned four senior Myanmar military officials and their immediate family members from travelling to the United States and designated them for their gross human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings in northern Rakhine State, Burma, during the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in a statement published yesterday.
The top generals are Myanmar government’s commander in chief, Min Aung Hlaing; deputy commander in chief, Soe Win; and two brigadier generals, Than Oo and Aung Aung.
U.S. officials further commented that no other government in the world has taken such public action against military leaders in Myanmar so far.
“We designated these individuals based on credible information of these commanders’ involvement in gross violations of human rights,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “We remain concerned that the Burmese government has taken no actions to hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, and there are continued reports of the Burmese military committing human rights violations and abuses throughout the country.”
The press release also cited to the order of The Commander-in-Chief to release the soldiers convicted of the extrajudicial killings at Inn Din during after only months in prison, while the journalists who told the world about the killings in Inn Din were jailed for more than 500 days.
A government crackdown in Myanmar has prompted international condemnation and driven more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh in less than two months and till now the number continues to rise amid ongoing violence.
U.N. report called for Myanmar generals to be investigated and prosecuted on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes over their actions in ethnic and religious minority states.
Human rights groups have been pushing for a strong response against Myanmar generals, including financial sanctions for the past two years.