EU adds 4 Assad regime ministers to blacklist

Bloc’s sanctions include 287 people, 70 entities responsible for violent repression of Syrian people.

EU adds 4 Assad regime ministers to blacklist

The European Union on Monday added four Assad regime ministers to its blacklist targeting those responsible for the repression of the Syrian people.

EU foreign ministers updated the bloc’s sanctions list against the regime with four recently appointed ministers, the Council of the EU announced.

Amr Salem, minister of internal trade, Boutros al-Hallaq, minister of information, Mohammed Seifeddine, minister of labor, and Diala Barakat, minister of state, were all added to the blacklist for sharing “responsibility for the Syrian regime’s violent repression of the civilian population,” according to a decision published in the EU Official Journal.

With the additions, the EU targets 287 people in total, including government officials and businessmen profiting from the war economy, with travel bans and asset freezes.

The blacklist also forbids EU operators from making funds available for 70 entities, including the Syrian central bank.

The sanctions regime also includes a ban on oil imports and restrictions on investments and exports of equipment and technology.

The EU introduced its sanctions regime fully a decade ago, in 2011, to pressure the Assad regime to stop the repression of its own people and to enter negotiations about a political solution for the civil war.

“There will be no end to sanctions, no normalizations, no support for reconstruction until a political transition is underway,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said this April, on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the war.

Syria has been in a civil war since early 2011, since the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Over the past 10 years hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.

Hüseyin Demir