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Rohingya crisis Switzerland tightens sanctions on Myanmar

Rohingya refugees in a crowded camp

Some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar fled an army crackdown in 2017. They are still in crowded refugee camps in Bangladesh. 

(Keystone)

The Swiss government has tightened sanctions against Myanmar because of human rights concerns, including imposing individual sanctions on members of its military. 

This brings Switzerland into line with steps already taken by the European Union. 

The measures include a strengthening of the embargo on military equipment and goods that could be used for repression, including equipment, technology and software that can be used to monitor communications. 

An asset freeze and travel ban (entering and transiting through Switzerland) have been imposed on “seven high-ranking members of Myanmar’s military and security forces who are accused of serious human rights violations”, the economics ministry (SECO) said in a press releaseexternal link. “The funds and economic resources of these individuals have been frozen and must be reported to SECO without delay,” it added. 

The government said it “condemns the ongoing widespread, systematic, grave human rights violations committed by Myanmar’s military and security forces, and is deeply concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation”. 

More than 700,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim minority fled in 2017 following a crackdown by the army and Buddhist militias. They are still living in sprawling refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh. In mid-September, UN investigators called for an international investigation and prosecution of Myanmar's army chief and five other top military commanders for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Rohingya.


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