Washington, DC – Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the passage of his legislation, the “Burma Unified Through Rigorous Military Accountability Act of 2021”, or BURMA Act, by the U.S. House of Representatives.  

“Today’s passage of my BURMA Act sends a clear message to the Burmese military that there will be accountability for their brutal and illegal February 1st 2021 coup, and for its subsequent crimes against humanity and human rights atrocities that have cost over 1,700 lives and displaced nearly half a million people. Together with last month’s formal determination by the Biden Administration that the Burmese military committed a genocide against Rohingya, the passage of the BURMA Act reaffirms the United States’ leadership to protect human rights and democratic values and ensure accountability and justice. I am proud to stand with the Burmese people who are fighting for their freedom.” 

A PDF of the BURMA Act can be found here, and key provisions include: 

  • Authorization to impose sanctions on individuals and entities who helped stage the February 1, 2021 coup d’état and are responsible for the subsequent repression of fundamental freedoms, human rights abuses, use of indiscriminate violence towards civilians, and other gross atrocities.  

  • Authorization for a new position at the State Department, a Special Coordinator for Burmese Democracy, to promote an international effort to impose and enforce multilateral sanctions on Burma and coordinate United States Government interagency efforts on Burma.  

  • Authorization for support to civil society and for humanitarian assistance in Burma, Bangladesh, Thailand, and the surrounding region.  

  • Call for the United States to pressure the United Nations to take more decisive action with regards to Burma. 

  • A report on the military’s genocide, crimes against humanity, and other atrocities against Rohingya and other ethnic minorities in Burma.