The United States imposes sweeping human rights sanctions in China, Myanmar and North Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Friday imposed wide-ranging human rights sanctions on dozens of people and entities linked to China, Myanmar, North Korea and Bangladesh, and added Chinese artificial intelligence firm SenseTime Group to an investment blacklist.

Canada and the United Kingdom have joined the United States in imposing sanctions relating to: Human rights violations in MyanmarWhile Washington is also the new first Sanctions against North Korea Under President Joe Biden, Myanmar’s military entities have been targeted, including Human Rights Day.

“Our actions today, particularly those in collaboration with the UK and Canada, send a message that democracies around the world will act against those who abuse state power to cause suffering and repression,” Deputy Finance Minister Wali Ademo said in a statement. statment.

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The North Korean mission to the United Nations and the embassies of China, Myanmar and Bangladesh in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Biden brought together more than 100 world leaders in a virtual summit This week he made a case for strengthening democracies around the world and described protecting rights and freedoms in the face of growing authoritarianism as the “defining challenge” of the current era. The US Treasury issued a series of sanctions this week to mark the summit.

The Treasury on Friday added Chinese artificial intelligence company SenseTime to its list of “China Military Industrial Complex companies,” accusing it of developing facial recognition software that can identify a target’s ethnicity, with a particular focus on identifying ethnic Uyghurs.

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As a result, the company falls under Investors for American investors. SenseTime is about to sell 1.5 billion shares through an initial public offering (IPO). Following news of treasury restrictions earlier this week, the company Discussion started Two people with direct knowledge of the matter said the fate of the planned $767 million initial public offering with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

United Nations experts and human rights organizations estimate that in recent years, more than a million people, mostly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in a vast system of camps in China’s far western region of Xinjiang.

China denies abuses in Xinjiang, but the US government and several human rights organizations say Beijing is committing genocide there.

The Finance Ministry said it is imposing sanctions on two military entities in Myanmar and an organization that provides reserves to the military. The Directorate of Defense Industries, one of the targets, produces weapons for the army and police that were used in a brutal crackdown on opponents of the military coup on 1 February.

The Treasury also targeted four provincial ministers, including Myo Soe Win, who heads the administration of the Bago District Military Council, where the Treasury says at least 82 people have died. were killed One day in April.

Canada has imposed sanctions on four entities of Myanmar’s military government, while the United Kingdom has imposed new sanctions on the military.

Myanmar plunged into crisis when the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi and her government on February 1, sparking daily protests in cities and clashes in border areas between the army and ethnic minority rebels.

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According to the monitoring group of the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP).

The Finance Ministry also blacklisted North Korea’s Central Prosecutor’s Office, along with former Social Security Minister and People’s Armed Forces Minister Ri Yong Gil, as well as a Russian university to ban the export of workers from North Korea.

North Korea has long sought the lifting of US and international sanctions on its weapons programs and denounced US criticism of its human rights record as evidence of a hostile policy against the country.

The Biden administration has repeatedly called on North Korea to engage in dialogue about its nuclear and missile programs, but to no avail.

On Friday, the US State Department also banned 12 people from traveling to the United States, including officials in China, Belarus and Sri Lanka.

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Additional reporting by Daphne Psalidakis, Simon Lewis, David Prestrom, Matt Spitalnick, Alexandra Alper, Tim Ahmann and David Longren; Editing by Chris Sanders, Alistair Bell and Jonathan Otis

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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