BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union expanded its sanctions against Syria on Monday, imposing asset freezes and travel bans against five more military and government officials.
The EU decision brings the number of individuals targeted by the EU to 35, including President Bashar Assad. Four government entities are also on the list.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, a day after one of the bloodiest since the uprising against Assad’s authoritarian rule began in mid-March. Syrian rights groups said in a joint statement that 74 people were killed throughout the country, 55 of them from Hama and neighboring villages.
More than 1,600 civilians have been killed in a crackdown on largely peaceful protests since a popular uprising began in Syria in mid-March.
Attacks by the security forces showed that the leadership was “unwilling to implement the reforms it has promised in response to the legitimate requests of the Syrian people,” Ashton said.
The European Union also has an embargo on sales of arms and equipment that can be used to suppress demonstrations.