The US government on Friday announced financial sanctions and other restrictions against 15 people and 10 entities in China, Myanmar, North Korea and Bangladesh to coincide with International Human Rights Day.
The actions announced by the Treasury Department also included investment restrictions on a Chinese company linked to the government’s mass surveillance operations in China. The sanctions are aimed at freezing targeted individuals and entities outside the global financial system.
“On International Human Rights Day, the Treasury is using its tools to expose and hold responsible those responsible for serious human rights violations,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said as he announced the measures .
The measures include a travel ban to the United States for two Chinese government officials who have been implicated in the crackdown on Uyghurs and other minorities in their country’s far west Xinjiang region.
Shohrat Zakir, president of the region from 2018-2021, and Erken Tuniyaz, who currently holds the post and was previously vice president, chaired a repressive campaign of forced assimilation that has imprisoned more than a million people in conditions brutal and forced labor. .
The Treasury has placed investment restrictions on the Chinese company SenseTime Group Ltd., which is involved in the development of facial recognition programs that can determine a person’s ethnicity and has been used as part of the campaign to surveillance against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim minorities.
This latest round of sanctions also includes actions against officials in Bangladesh who are involved in the country’s Rapid Action Battalion on Drugs, a task force founded in 2004 that has been implicated in more than 600 disappearances and nearly 600. extrajudicial killings, with evidence suggesting they targeted members of opposition parties, journalists and human rights activists, the Treasury said.
The sanctions also include action against officials and entities in Russia and North Korea who participate in the use of North Korean workers abroad, often under abusive conditions, to generate hard currency for the repressive government. .
The actions against four officials in Myanmar and several entities are the latest in a series of US sanctions since the military toppled the democratically elected government on February 1, followed by a brutal crackdown on the opposition in the months that followed.
The situation in Myanmar is among the issues Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to address next week when he meets with officials in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.