[JURIST] US President George W. Bush imposed new sanctions on 12 Myanmar businesses and individuals in an executive order [text; fact sheet] issued Friday. Included in the order freezing US-held assets and blocking certain property transactions were designations by the Treasury department of an additional 11 leaders of the Myanmar military junta who were subject to existing sanctions [PDF text] and instructions for the Commerce Department to increase regulation of the country's exports. In White House remarks [text] Bush said that the order was specifically aimed at those who are "responsible for human rights abuses as well as public corruption, and those who provide material and financial backing to these individuals or to the government of Burma."
The sanctions follow the Myanmar government's crackdown on protesters [JURIST report] which began last month after Buddhist monks demonstrated against human rights abuses by the military government. The government has thusfar refused the Red Cross access [JURIST report] to thousands of political prisoners in the wake of reports that hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of dissidents have been killed while in custody. The New York Times has more.