Canada Further Expands Sanctions Against Syria

(No. 390 - December 23, 2011 - 10:15 a.m. ET) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced new sanctions on Syria’s Assad regime in response to its ongoing and escalating repression of Syrians:

“Despite increased international condemnation, the senseless violence against the Syrian people continues to claim lives.

“Canada is therefore continuing to step up its pressure on the regime and those who support it by introducing additional targeted sanctions.

“These measures prohibit all imports, with the exception of food, from Syria; all new investment in Syria; and the export to Syria of equipment, including software, for the monitoring of telephone and Internet communications. Canada is also imposing an assets freeze and prohibiting economic dealings with additional individuals and entities associated with the Assad regime.

“Canada stands with the Syrian people in their efforts to secure for themselves a brighter future. We look forward to a new Syria that respects the rights of its people and lives in peace with its neighbours.

“Canada remains committed to working with our international partners to bring pressure to bear on the Assad regime.

“Sanctions imposed by like-minded partners, including the United States and the European Union, and recently by the Arab League are having an impact in isolating the regime.”

On December 15, 2011, Canada announced a voluntary evacuation of its citizens in Syria and expedited efforts to help them leave the country as soon as possible. We continue to urge all Canadians in Syria to leave immediately, while commercial means are still available.

For more information, please visit Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations.

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A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Additional Sanctions on Syria

Effective immediately, the amendment to the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations prohibits all imports, with the exception of food, from Syria; prohibits all new investment in Syria; prohibits the export to Syria of equipment, including software, for the monitoring of telephone and Internet communications; and imposes an assets freeze and a prohibition on economic dealings with additional individuals and entities associated with the Assad regime.

The additional individuals and entities announced today, and named below, bring the total of those targeted by Canada’s sanctions to 81 individuals and 31 entities.

Individuals

  1. Tarif Akhras
  2. Issam Anbouba
  3. Emad Ghraiwati
  4. Jumah Al-Ahmad (Major-General)
  5. Lu’ai Al-Ali (Colonel)
  6. Jasim Al-Furayj (Lieutenant-General)
  7. Aous Aslan (General), (a.k.a. Aws Aslan)
  8. Ali Abdullah Ayyub (Lieutenant-General)
  9. Ghassan Belal (General)
  10. Abdullah Berri
  11. George Chaoui
  12. Zuhair Hamad (Major-General)
  13. Amar Ismael
  14. Mujahed Ismail
  15. Saqr Khayr Bek
  16. Wajih Mahmud (Major-General)
  17. Kifah Moulhem
  18. Nazih (Major-General)
  19. Bassam Sabbagh
  20. Fu’ad Tawil (Major-General)
  21. Mustafa Tlass Tala, (Lieutenant-General)
  22. Ibrahim Al-Hassan (Major-General)
  23. Fahid Al-Jassim (Lieutenant-General)
  24. Mohammad Al-Jleilati
  25. Mohammad Nidal Al-Shaar (Doctor)
  26. Mohammad Al-Shaar
  27. Khald Al-Taweel
  28. Ali Barakat (Brigadier)
  29. Ghiath Fayad
  30. Nazih Hassun (Brigadier)
  31. Maan Jdiid (Captain)
  32. Talal Makhluf (Brigadier)
  33. Khalil Zghraybih (Brigadier)

Entities

  1. Al Furat Petroleum Company
  2. Al Watan
  3. Business Lab
  4. Centre d’études et de Recherches Syrien (CERS)
  5. Cham Press TV
  6. Handasieh - Organization For Engineering Industries
  7. Industrial Solutions
  8. Mechanical Construction Factory (MCF)
  9. Syria Trading Oil Company
  10. Syronics-Syrian Arab Co. for Electronic Industries

For more information on Canada’s sanctions against Syria, please see Syria.

Context

On May 24, 2011, Canada announced targeted sanctions against the Syrian regime and some designated individuals and entities in response to the ongoing violent crackdown by Syrian military and security forces against Syrians peacefully protesting for democracy and human rights. These measures, which remain in place, were a blend of administrative measures and actions taken under the authority of the Special Economic Measures Act and were consistent with initiatives taken by like-minded partners, including the United States and the European Union.

On August 13, 2011, Canada expanded sanctions by seeking to freeze the assets of four additional individuals and two additional entities associated with the Syrian regime and to ensure that those people believed to be inadmissible to Canada would be prevented from travelling to Canada. Measures implemented by Canada included a prohibition on dealing in the property of listed individuals and entities—including the provision of financial services and making property available for their benefit—and travel restrictions.

Canadian Measures

  1. Travel restrictions: Canada ensured that persons associated with the Syrian government who are believed to be inadmissible to Canada are prevented from travelling to Canada.
  2. An asset freeze: Canada imposed an asset freeze against people associated with the current Syrian regime and entities involved in security and military operations against the Syrian people.
  3. A ban on specific exports and imports: Canada placed a ban under the Export and Import Permits Act on the export from Canada to Syria of goods and technology that are subject to export controls. These items include arms, munitions, and military, nuclear and strategic items that are intended for use by the Syrian armed forces, police or other governmental agencies.
  4. A suspension of all bilateral cooperation agreements and initiatives with Syria.

The measures announced are consistent with Canada’s foreign policy priority to promote freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world. Canada stands with the Syrian people in their calls for a brighter future for Syria.

A news release announcing the May 24 sanctions can be found at PM announces sanctions on Syria.

For more information on the August 13 announcement, please visit Statement by Minister Baird on Situation in Syria.

On October 4, 2011, Canada imposed the following additional measures:

  1. A prohibition on the importation, purchase or transportation of petroleum or petroleum products from Syria.
  2. A prohibition on new investment in the Syrian oil sector.
  3. A prohibition on the provision or acquisition of financial services for the purpose of facilitating the importation, purchase or transportation of Syrian petroleum or petroleum products.
  4. A prohibition on the provision or acquisition of financial services for the purpose of investing in the Syrian oil sector.

For information on the October 4 announcement, please visit Canada Expands Sanctions Against Syria.