EU slaps sanctions on 7 new Syria government ministers

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

Asset freezes and travel bans in Europe were imposed on the seven, who include the ministers for justice, finance, transport, education and culture. Most are accused of sharing “responsibility for the Syrian regime’s violent repression of the civilian population,” the EU said.

With the new sanctions the number of people targeted by EU measures has increased to 280. A further 70 “entities,” including organizations, banks and companies, are also on the blacklist, usually 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.

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