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Old 03-24-2012, 09:55 PM
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Default Assad's relatives face asset freeze and travel ban as EU steps up sanctions

Assad's relatives face asset freeze and travel ban as EU steps up sanctions

Asma al-Assad, president's British-born wife, will still be allowed to visit UK, says William Hague Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma in Paris in 2010. Asma al-Assad was until recently seen as an international style icon. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images


The European Union has stepped up pressure on Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, by hitting his closest female relatives with new sanctions. The EU has barred his wife, mother, sister and sister-in-law from travelling in the EU and has frozen their bank accounts and other assets.
But, as armed clashes and shelling of civilian areas were reported across the country on another Friday of mass protests, it remained unclear how the move, aimed at curbing the luxury lifestyle of a dynasty engaged in a bloodbath in Syria, would affect Asma al-Assad, the president's British-born wife and until recently an international style icon.

The travel ban placed on the four women means they cannot enter the EU. But Asma al-Assad is exempted from that ban as the former investment banker is a UK national and may still travel to Britain, though not to the rest of the EU.

More:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...a-bashar-syria
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:14 AM
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The UK has a problem here, that not even the UK Media can totally cover - while they keep calling Mrs. Assad, "UK Born" at the start of articles (much like the late King of Jordan's wife was "US Born") the fact is she is still a UK CITIZEN. The EU legally CAN NOT keep her out of the UK, and even the UK has admitted that.

The UK allows duel citizenship and she is a natural born UK citizen, and there fore can not be prevented from visiting the UK.

Now, they can hold a war-crimes trial in absentia or charge her with other offenses if they have evidence, but until they do that, it isn't legally possible to say "you are standing by that really nasty dictator you married when he was a UK eye doctor, and we think you make bad choices by buying lots of bling so we won't let you in the country that your a citizen of."

Especially since most of the evidence comes from private e-mails, that may or may not have been legally obtained.

Don't get me wrong, I think her husband is a monster (if he wasn't before he is now for what he's allowed to happen in Hom) and I think she has made some pretty dumb choices; though first ladies are often able to live in pools of denial for a very long time; especially if he's a good husband and father to his own family.

Even her "I'm the dictator in this family" comment was from a private e-mail and how many wives have said that in jest to friends and family over some topic like bed-time or house-hold spending?

I'm not defending her exactly, just pointing out that I think the press is being "used" in this case, because even they can't keep the story coherent.

The people I really feel for are Mrs. Assad's parents, who have been targeted as "assisting the regime" for "advising" their daughter on the telephone. Maybe they did and maybe they were just giving her moral support, she is their daughter and they are also British citizens (though I think they are naturalized).

The big issue here, I think is that the UK has boxed itself in with this family; first by proclaiming how wonderful they were when they took power and how a UK eye doctor living quietly in London was now President for Life in the Middle East - wouldn't relationships be wonderful. And now, when all that Western Patina turns out to be an illusion, they just don't know how to cope.

And you know, I've never heard a comment on Mr. Assad's citizenship status but he lived in the UK for years and is married to a British citizen...hmmm

Actually, there are more important issues in all this like those poor, suffering, civilians trapped in Syrians cities and unable to get out.
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