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Global Sanctions-a-Rama, Part 3: OFAC designations relating to Burma & Xinjiang

Today, OFAC added the following persons:

CHEN, Mingguo (Chinese Simplified: 陈明国), Xinjiang, China; DOB Oct 1966; POB Yilong, Sichuan, China; nationality China; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG] (Linked To: XINJIANG PUBLIC SECURITY BUREAU). 
 
WANG, Junzheng (Chinese Simplified: 王君正), Urumqi, Xinjiang, China; DOB May 1963; POB Linyi City, Shandong Province, China; nationality China; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG] (Linked To: XINJIANG PRODUCTION AND CONSTRUCTION CORPS).  

under its Global Magnitsky sanctions program for human rights abuses (and/or corruption), and the following persons:

HLAING, Than, Burma; DOB 1965; Gender Male; Deputy Minister for Home Affairs and Chief of Burma Police Force (individual) [BURMA-EO14014]. 
 
SOE, Aung, Naypyitaw, Burma; DOB 03 Dec 1963; POB Pa Thein Town, Burma; nationality Burma; Gender Male (individual) [BURMA-EO14014]. 

and entities:

33RD LIGHT INFANTRY DIVISION OF THE BURMESE ARMY, Sagaing, Burma [BURMA-EO14014]. 
 
77TH LIGHT INFANTRY DIVISION OF THE BURMESE ARMY, Pegu, Burma [BURMA-EO14014].  

under its Burma sanctions program.

Additionally, the following existing Global Magnitsky designations were updated:

AUNG KYAW ZAW (a.k.a. AUNG KYAW ZAWW), Burma; DOB 20 Aug 1961; Gender Male; Passport DM-000826 issued 22 Nov 2011 (individual) [GLOMAG]. -to- ZAW, Aung Kyaw (a.k.a. ZAWW, Aung Kyaw), Burma; DOB 20 Aug 1961; Gender Male; Passport DM-000826 issued 22 Nov 2011 (individual) [GLOMAG]. 
 
KHIN HLAING, Burma; DOB 02 May 1968; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG]. -to- HLAING, Khin, Burma; DOB 02 May 1968; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG]. 
 
KHIN MAUNG SOE, Burma; DOB 1972; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG]. -to- SOE, Khin Maung, Burma; DOB 1972; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG]. 
 
THURA SAN LWIN, Burma; DOB 17 Mar 1959; POB Yangon, Burma; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG]. -to- LWIN, Thura San, Burma; DOB 17 Mar 1959; POB Yangon, Burma; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG]. 

And the Treasury Department issued two press releases – one relating to Burma:

PRESS RELEASES

United States Targets Burmese Military Forces for Repression of Pro-Democracy Protests

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two individuals and two entities connected to the Burmese military and its violent repression of pro-democracy protests. Treasury took these actions in response to the Burmese military’s continued campaign of violence and intimidation against peaceful protesters and civil society. 

“The Burmese security forces’ lethal violence against peaceful protesters must end,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki. “Treasury will continue to use the full range of our authorities to promote accountability for the actions of the Burmese military and police. We continue to stand with the people of Burma.” 

Treasury designated Than Hlaing pursuant to Executive Order 14014, “Blocking Property With Respect to the Situation in Burma” (E.O. 14014), for being a foreign person determined to be or have been a leader of the Burma Police Force, an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in actions or policies that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by people in Burma. Than Hlaing was appointed Chief of the Burma Police Force and Deputy Home Affairs Minister on February 2, 2021. Since then, Burma’s police have engaged in brutal acts of violence against pro-democracy protesters. Under Than Hlaing’s leadership, the Burma Police Force has gone from attacking peaceful protesters with water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas, to using live ammunition; this escalation culminated in police killing dozens of peaceful protesters all across Burma on March 14, 2021, including 37 in the Rangoon suburb of Hlaingthaya. This bloody day brought the cumulative death toll from the peaceful protests to an estimated 140 people, with additional deaths since that time.

Treasury is also designating the 33rd Light Infantry Division of the Burmese Army (33 LID) and the 77th Light Infantry Division of the Burmese Army (77 LID), pursuant to E.O. 14014, for being responsible for or complicit in, or for having directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, actions or policies that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by people in Burma. The deployment of the 33 LID into Mandalay and the 77 LID into Rangoon have resulted in instances of excessive force, including killings, by security forces. OFAC previously designated the 33 LID on August 17, 2018, pursuant to E.O. 13818 for engaging in serious human rights abuse against the Rohingya. Members of this notorious military unit were among the security forces that, on February 20, 2021, fired live rounds into a crowd of protesting dockyard workers in the country’s second city, Mandalay, killing two and injuring several others. Both the 33 LID and the 77 LIDare part of the Burmese security forces’ apparent implementation of a planned, systematic crackdown involving ramped-up use of lethal force and killing of protestors. Video footage shows security forces riding pick-up trucks while apparently indiscriminately firing live ammunition in multiple directions, including into people’s homes. 

Additionally, Treasury is designating Lieutenant General Aung Soe pursuant to E.O. 14014 for being a leader or official of the military or security forces of Burma. Lt. Gen. Aung Soe is a Bureau of Special Operations commander and reports directly to commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who was designated by OFAC on December 10, 2019, pursuant to E.O. 13818, and on February 11, 2021, pursuant to E.O. 14014. Regional commands under Aung Soe’s control have participated in the vicious attacks on peaceful protests. These soldiers were armed with weapons meant for the battlefield, not police actions, demonstrating that lethal force is being used in a planned, premeditated, and coordinated manner against the anti-coup protests.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

All property and interests in property of these persons that are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13818 continue to be blocked. Additionally, pursuant to E.O. 14014, all property and interests in property of the individuals and entities named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

and one relating to human rights abuses in Xinjiang:

PRESS RELEASES

Treasury Sanctions Chinese Government Officials in Connection with Serious Human Rights Abuse in Xinjiang

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two current Chinese government officials in connection with serious human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).  These designations include Wang Junzheng, the Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), and Chen Mingguo, Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB).  These individuals are designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.  The United States is committed to using the full breadth of its financial powers to promote accountability for the serious human rights abuses occurring in Xinjiang.

“Chinese authorities will continue to face consequences as long as atrocities occur in Xinjiang,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki.  “Treasury is committed to promoting accountability for the Chinese government’s human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention and torture, against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities.”

Today’s Treasury actions complement actions also taken today by the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada, which imposed sanctions on these individuals and others.  The United States will continue to play a strong leadership role in global efforts to combat serious human rights abuse in Xinjiang and around the world through the Global Magnitsky sanctions program.  Complementary actions using these global human rights sanctions regimes enable likeminded partners to form a unified front to identify, promote accountability for, and disrupt access to the international financial system by those who abuse human rights.

SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE IN XINJIANG

Due to their roles in the XPCC and XPSB, respectively, Wang Junzheng (Wang) and Chen Mingguo (Chen) are connected to serious human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, which reportedly includes arbitrary detention and severe physical abuse, among other serious human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim population indigenous to Xinjiang, and other ethnic minorities in the region. 

The XPCC is a paramilitary organization in the XUAR that is subordinate to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and was designated on July 31, 2020 for its connection to serious human rights abuse.  The XPCC enhances internal control over the region by advancing China’s vision of economic development in XUAR that emphasizes subordination to central planning and resource extraction. 

These designations are the latest U.S. government actions in an ongoing effort to deter the ongoing serious human rights abuses in Xinjiang and promote accountability for Chinese individuals and entities that perpetuate a campaign of repression against ethnic minorities.  The XPSB was designated on July 9, 2020 for being a foreign person responsible for, or complicit in, or that has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse.  Since at least late 2016, repressive tactics have been used by the XPSB against the Uyghurs and members of other ethnic minorities in the region, including mass detentions and surveillance.  China’s surveillance has targeted members of religious and ethnic minorities, as the Chinese government treats almost all expressions of faith as a sign of religious “extremism” or ethnic separatism.  Targets of this surveillance are often detained and reportedly subjected to various methods of torture and “political reeducation.”

Wang is designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the XPCC. 

Chen is designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 for being a foreign person who is or has been a leader or official of the XPSB, an entity, including a government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse relating to Chen’s tenure. 

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the persons above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.  In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.  The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

GLOBAL MAGNITSKY

Building upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, E.O. 13818 was issued on December 20, 2017, in recognition that the prevalence of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, had reached such scope and gravity as to threaten the stability of international political and economic systems.  Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets.  The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.

Link:

OFAC Notice

Treasury Press Releases – Burma, Xinjiang

Categories: Burma Sanctions Global Magnitsky Sanctions Human Rights Sanctions OFAC Updates Sanctions Lists Xinjiang-related measures

eric9to5

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