December 13, 2021

OFAC designates 25 persons on International Human Rights Day; coordinates with UK and Canada to impose Burma-related sanctions

On December 10, 2021, International Human Rights Day, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated 15 individuals and 10 entities for participating in human rights abuse and repression related to the technology-enabled abuse of the Uyghurs in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the exploitation of workers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Workers’ Party of Korea and victims of the DPRK’s unfair judicial system, and the serious human rights abuse occurring in Bangladesh and Burma at the hands of government organizations.  OFAC imposed the sanctions based on multiple authorities including EO 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and targets those who engage in corruption and serious human rights abuse around the world; EO 13959, as amended, which targets companies, and the entities that own or control them, operating in the surveillance technology sector of the PRC’s economy; EO 13687 and EO 13722 which target the DPRK and the Workers’ Party of Korea and certain labor-related conduct; and EO 14014 which targets, among other things, serious human rights abuse in Burma.

As a result of the OFAC designations, all property and interests in property of today’s designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a U.S. person are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons.  In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

The US also joined the UK and Canada to impose coordinated sanctions on individuals and entities in Burma responsible for the Burmese military regime’s ongoing attacks on democracy and the brutal repression of the people of Burma. On December 10, 2021, the UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) imposed assets freezes against 1 individual pursuant to the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/680) and 4 entities under the Myanmar (Sanctions) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/496).  On the same day, Canada imposed targeted sanctions against key Myanmar military and defense-related entities responsible for the continued and escalating violence against Myanmar citizens.  Canada’s sanctions were issued pursuant to the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations that include asset freezes and an arms embargo.

Department of Treasury Press Release | OFSI Financial Sanctions Notice – Global Human Rights | OFSI Financial Sanctions Notice – Myanmar | Government of Canada Press Release