On March 31, 2021, the Swiss government amended the list of individuals in Annex 1 to the Ordinance on Measures against Myanmar/Burma. Eleven individuals responsible for the military coup staged in Myanmar on February 1, 2021, and the subsequent military and police repression against peaceful demonstrators, have been newly included.
Ten of the eleven individuals targeted belong to the highest ranks of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw), including the Tatmadaw’s Commander-in-Chief, Min Aung Hlaing, and Deputy-Commander-in-Chief, Soe Win. The eleventh individual, Thein Soe, has been directly involved in actions undermining democracy and the rule of law in Myanmar by accepting this nomination in the aftermath of the military coup of February 1, 2021, and through his actions as chairman of the Union Election Commission (UEC), notably the cancelling of the results of the elections without any proven evidence of frauds.
Combined with the previous designations, this brings the total number of listed individuals to 25.
On October 2, 2000, the Federal Council first decided on restrictive measures against Myanmar and issued an ordinance to this effect. In doing so, Switzerland joined the sanctions that the European Union had imposed on Myanmar on May 22, 2000.
On May 9, 2012, again following the EU, the Federal Council decided to lift the sanctions, with the exception of the embargo on arms and equipment that could be used for internal repression. On October 17, 2018, the Federal Council again tightened sanctions against Myanmar due to its concerns about the systematic human rights violations.
Also today, the human rights violations in Myanmar gave rise to the amendment of the list of sanctioned individuals, following the recent EU additions.
The restrictive measures include in general:
- Sanctions on goods
- Embargo on arms and equipment that can be used for internal repression
- Export restrictions on equipment, technology and software for surveillance communications that could be used for internal repression
- Export ban on dual-use goods for use by the military and border guard police if the goods are intended for military purposes or military end-users
- Financial sanctions
- Asset freeze and prohibition on making funds available to the listed individuals and entities
- Reporting requirements for blocked assets
- Other measures
- Travel ban
- Prohibition on military training to and military cooperation with the Tatmadaw
Philippe Reich, Baker McKenzie Zurich