Today, Monday, the European Union listed 6 individuals, including those close to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assadand 5 entities on its sanctions list related to the current situation in Syria, while a court in The Hague convicted a pro-government Syrian fighter of committing war crimes.
Reuters reported that the individuals are: an economic advisor to Assad, three prominent businessmen who support and benefit from the regime, and two linked to the Assad family.
The five companies subject to sanctions are: Al-Daj Group, Cham Wings, Al-Tair Al-Hur Tourism and Travel Corporation, Illoma Private Investments Company, and Al-Aqeela Company.
“Some of these entities are involved in the transfer of Syrian mercenaries, arms trade, drug smuggling or money laundering, which supports the activities of the Syrian regime,” the European Union said.
Under these sanctions, these individuals and companies are now subject to freezing their funds and other financial assets in European Union member states, and entities in the Union are prohibited from providing financing or financial resources to them.
Committing war crimes
In a related context, a district court in The Hague on Monday convicted a pro-government Syrian fighter of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity due to his participation in acts of torture and illegal detention in Syria, and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
The court stated that the convict was called “Mustafa A.” and he participated in detaining a man in Syria in 2012 before later handing him over to intelligence officials in the Syrian Air Force, who were running a prison in which he was tortured.
The court explained that Mustafa (35 years old) was a leader in a faction called “Al-Quds Brigade,” which includes a group of militants, most of whom are Palestinian refugees living in Syria, and was founded as part of a group of militias fighting alongside the regime during the first years of the war that has been going on for 12 years.
The court found him guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including torture, inhuman treatment, and illegal detention, as well as joining a “criminal” organization.
This is the first time that a Dutch court has convicted a person for crimes committed while fighting on behalf of Bashar al-Assad's government during the Syrian crisis. Germany issued a small number of similar convictions, while some courts in other European countries are preparing to try some symbols of the Syrian regime in absentia on various charges.
There was no comment from Damascus on the European sanctions or the ruling issued against the aforementioned person.