EU imposes sanctions on 4 new Syria government ministers

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on four ministers recently appointed to the Syrian government, blaming them for playing a role in the continued repression on civilians in the war-torn country.

Asset freezes and travel bans in Europe were imposed on the four, who include the ministers for internal trade, information and labor.

The four ministers were accused of sharing “responsibility for the Syrian regime’s violent repression of the civilian population,” the EU said.

The new sanctions bring the number of people in Syria targeted by EU measures to 287. A further 70 “entities,” including organizations, banks and companies, are also on the blacklist, typically for benefiting from their ties with the regime.

The EU first started imposing the sanctions in 2011. The measures also include a ban on oil imports, investment restrictions, a freeze on central bank assets held in the EU, and export limits on equipment and technology that could be used to crack down on civilians or monitoring their phones and internet.