Canada Further Expands Sanctions Against Syria’s Assad Regime

March 5, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“The continuing, appalling violence perpetrated by the Assad regime on the people of Syria compels us to again tighten the vise on those responsible.

“These additional measures include a complete ban on the provision or acquisition of financial or other related services, as well as sanctions on the Syrian central bank and seven high-ranking Syrian officials implicated in the violence.

“We must put concerted and intense international pressure on the regime to stop the violence and to allow a peaceful, Syrian-led transition. Those responsible for the violence across Syria must be held accountable for their actions.

“This is the sixth round of sanctions imposed upon the Assad regime. Our message remains clear: Assad must go.”

Minister Baird announced on February 24, 2012, at the Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis that Canada would provide a further $1.5 million to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.

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

- 30 –

A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI

Backgrounder - Additional Sanctions on Syria

Effective immediately, the additional individuals and entities announced today, and named below, will be subject to an assets freeze and a prohibition on economic dealings. With these new measures, the total number of designations rises to 115 individuals and 39 entities.

Additional individuals

Dr. Wael Nader Al Halqi, Minister of Health
Mansour Fadlallah Azzam, Minister of Presidential Affairs
Dr. Emad Abdul-Ghani Sabouni, Minister of Communications and Technology
Sufian Allaw, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
Dr. Adnan Slakho, Minister of Industry
Dr. Saleh Al-Rashed, Minister of Education
Dr. Fayssal Abbas, Minister of Transport

Additional entity

Central Bank of Syria

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 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. They included:

  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. Asset freeze: Canada imposed an asset freeze against 25 people associated with the current Syrian regime and seven entities involved in security and military operations against the Syrian people. This included a prohibition on dealing in the property of listed individuals and entities, including the provision of financial services and making property available to individuals and entities.
  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 technologies 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.

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

On August 13, 2011, Canada expanded sanctions by imposing the asset freeze and travel restrictions on four additional individuals and two additional entities associated with the Syrian regime.

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:

  • An asset freeze and travel restrictions on 27 additional individuals and 12 additional entities associated with the Assad regime
  • A prohibition on the importation, purchase or transportation of petroleum or petroleum products from Syria
  • A prohibition on new investment in the Syrian oil sector
  • 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
  • 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.

On December 23, 2011, Canada further expanded its sanctions against the Syrian regime. Those 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 also imposed an assets freeze and prohibited economic dealings with 33 additional individuals and 10 additional entities associated with the Assad regime.

For information on the December 23 announcement, please visit Canada Further Expands Sanctions Against Syria.

On January 25, 2012, Canada expanded its sanctions by adding the names of 22 individuals and seven entities associated with the Assad regime to its list of designated persons.

For information on the January 25 announcement, please visit Canada Further Expands Sanctions Against Syria.

On March 5, 2012, Canada further expanded its sanctions by adding the names of seven individuals, all senior members of the Assad regime, and the Central Bank of Syria to the list of those subject to a dealings prohibition and asset freeze. The amendments also introduce a complete ban on the provision or acquisition of financial or other related services to, from, or for the benefit of, or on the direction or order of, Syria or any person in 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.