The Swiss government has added seven names to a list of top Syrian officials on whom it imposed sanctions last year to put further pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.This content was published on March 9, 2012 - 19:37
The names added to the list of more than 100 Syrian officials included those of the ministers of health, industry, education, transport, oil and communications, the cabinet announced on Friday.
The United Nations estimates more than 7,500 civilians have died during Assad's year-old crackdown on protests against his rule and the ensuing uprising in different parts of Syria.
Switzerland said in December it had frozen SFr50 million ($55 million) of funds belonging to Assad and other top officials and Syrian companies.
Switzerland has worked hard in recent years to improve its image as a haven for ill-gotten gains, seizing the assets of numerous deposed dictators and agreeing in 2009 to soften strict bank secrecy to help other countries catch tax cheats.
It has blocked assets of the former Tunisian and Egyptian leaders and their entourages as well as those of late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and his family.
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