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UK: Government’s curbs on aviation fuel to Myanmar welcomed but more action needed

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Move sends important message ahead of tomorrow’s two-year anniversary of military coup  

‘The Government needs to suspend all UK involvement - such as marine insurance - in the supply of aviation fuel to Myanmar’ - Sacha Deshmukh

Responding to the UK government’s announcement today of new measures to prevent Myanmar businesses supplying aviation fuel to the military, Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Amnesty International UK, said:

“This is a welcome, if overdue, move.

“It’s been almost three months since we exposed these and other companies as key players in the importing, handling and transporting of aviation fuel used by the Myanmar military.  

“Many of these fuel deliveries have been directly linked to war crimes, including air strikes that have killed, terrorised and maimed thousands of civilian women, children and men.  

“To be truly effective, the UK needs to help stop other companies or proxies from stepping in to fill the gap and prevent a return to business as usual.

“The Government needs to suspend all UK involvement - such as marine insurance - in the supply of aviation fuel to Myanmar that is devastating so many lives.”

Deadly cargo and Myanmar war crimes

Amnesty has called for all countries and companies to suspend the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer - including transit, trans-shipment and brokering - of aviation fuel to Myanmar until effective mechanisms are in place to ensure the fuel will not be used in the commission of serious violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.

Last November, Amnesty launched a campaign calling for a suspension of the supply of aviation fuel to prevent the Myanmar military from carrying out unlawful air strikes. The investigation also identified companies involved across the supply chain. The two newly-sanctioned companies - Asia Sun Trading Company Limited and Cargo Link Company Limited, both part of what is known as the Asia Sun group - were identified for the first time by Amnesty in its Deadly Cargo report.

Since Myanmar’s 1 February 2021 coup, nearly 3,000 people have been killed, 1.5 million have been internally displaced, more than 13,000 are still detained in inhumane conditions, and four people are known to have been executed, while at least 100 have been sentenced to death. In addition to this, 7.8 million children are not in school.

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