Koenders backs EU sanctions on military officials for use of chemical weapons in Syria

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders has welcomed the European Union’s decision to impose sanctions on four high-ranking military officials for their role in the deployment of chemical weapons against Syria’s civilian population. ‘We pushed hard for these additional sanctions. The Netherlands is working for justice and accountability for the crimes committed in Syria.’

The military officials have been added to a list of individuals who are deemed responsible for the violent repression of Syrian civilians, or who have benefitted from or supported the regime, along with various individuals associated with such persons. The total number of people on the list, which imposes a travel ban and assets freeze, now stands at 239. In addition, 67 entities have had their assets frozen.

The Netherlands is working at international level to tackle impunity for crimes committed in Syria. Earlier this month Mr Koenders hosted an international conference in The Hague on establishing a UN evidence database to document crimes committed in Syria. This database is intended to facilitate the prosecution of those suspected of these crimes.

EU press release: ‘Use of chemical weapons in Syria: EU imposes sanctions against 4 high-ranking military officials’