Canada Tightens Sanctions Against Assad Regime

May 18, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“The ongoing, appalling violence perpetrated by the Assad regime against the people of Syria compels Canada to further isolate the regime and its backers.

“Canada is implementing additional measures, which include sanctions prohibiting the export of certain goods to Syria; sanctions against Syria’s state-run radio and television, the government-owned General Organization of Tobacco, and the petroleum exporter Altoun Group; and sanctions against three individuals closely associated with the regime.

“Our expanded sanctions target the regime, not the Syrian people.

“The international community must redouble its efforts to get adherence to Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point plan or move on and explore other diplomatic solutions to the crisis.

“Assad continues to blatantly disregard the international community while innocent people perish.

“Canada stands with the Syrian people and supports their demands for freedom, dignity, and a better, brighter future.”

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, Canada prohibits the export of certain goods to Syria. Also, the additional three individuals and three entities announced today, and named below will be subject to an asset freeze and a prohibition on economic dealings. With these new measures, the total number of designations rises to become 129 individuals and 44 entities.

Additional individuals

  • Salim Altoun, Chairman and CEO, Altoun Group
  • Youssef Klizli, assistant to Salim Altoun, Chairman and CEO, Altoun Group
  • Adib Mayaleh, Governor, Central Bank of Syria

Additional entities

  • General Organization of Radio and TV (GORT)/L’organisme général de la radio et la télévision
  • Altoun Group
  • General Organization of Tobacco/Monopole syrien des tabacs

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, 2011, 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:

  1. An asset freeze and travel restrictions on 27 additional individuals and 12 additional entities associated with the Assad regime;
  2. A prohibition on the importation, purchase or transportation of petroleum or petroleum products from Syria;
  3. A prohibition on new investment in the Syrian oil sector;
  4. 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;
  5. 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. The measures prohibit all imports from Syria, with the exception of food; 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 asset 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 one entity, the Central Bank of Syria, to the list of those subject to a dealings prohibition and asset freeze. The amendments also introduced 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.

For information on the March 5 announcement, please visit Canada Further Expands Sanctions Against Syria’s Assad Regime.

On March 30, 2012, Canada imposed further sanctions against Syria by imposing an asset freeze and dealings prohibition on 12 additional individuals and two entities associated with the Assad regime.

For information on the March 30 announcement, please visit Canada Expands Sanctions Against Assad Regime.

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.