Swiss widen sanctions against Syria

Switzerland on Monday widened sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, adding 19 individuals and eight institutions to the list of key players under financial and travel embargo.

“These restrictive measures were decreed due to the violent repression that the army and the Syrian security forces have exercised for two months to snuff out peaceful demonstrations by the population,” said Bern in a statement.  

Monday’s move to include individuals such as former defence minister Hassan Bin-Ali al-Turmani and head of a military police unit Hayel al-Assad, came after the United States and the European Union both increased sanctions in recent weeks against Assad’s regime.  

To date, the amount of Syrian assets frozen by Switzerland stands at 45 million francs ($51 million), Bern said, noting however that the sum could go up when the updated blacklist enters into force on Tuesday.  

Switzerland had imposed travel and financial restrictions on Assad and other key players of his regime in May, and had already widened the blacklist once in August.  

Earlier on Monday, the United Nations human rights chief said that at least 2,600 people had been killed in the unrest in Syria since popular protests first broke out in mid-March.

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