the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

Search form

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Letter --Blocking Property of Certain Persons with Respect to Human Rights Abuses in Syria

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

April 29, 2011

Dear Mr. Speaker:    (Dear Mr. President:)

Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order (the "order") that expands the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13338 of May 11, 2004, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13399 of April 25, 2006, and Executive Order 13460 of February 13, 2008.

In Executive Order 13338, the President found that the actions of the Government of Syria constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States and declared a national emergency to deal with that threat.  To address that threat and to implement the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-175), the President in Executive Order 13338 blocked the property of certain persons and imposed additional prohibitions on certain transactions with respect to Syria.

I have determined that the Government of Syria's human rights abuses, including those related to the repression of the people in Syria, manifested most recently by the use of violence and torture against, and arbitrary arrests and detentions of, peaceful protestors by police, security forces, and other entities that have engaged in human rights abuses, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and warrant the imposition of additional sanctions.

The order blocks the property and interests in property of persons listed in the Annex to the order.  The order also provides criteria for designations of persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

•    to be responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, or to have participated in, the commission of human rights abuses in Syria, including those related to repression;

•    to be a senior official of an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order;

•    to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, human rights abuses in Syria, or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13338, Executive Order 13460, or the order; or

•    to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13460 or the order.

I have delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury the authority, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the order.  I have also delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the authority to determine that circumstances no longer warrant the blocking of the property and interests in property of a person listed in the Annex to the order, and to take necessary action to give effect to that determination.

The order was effective at 1:00 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 29, 2011.  All executive agencies of the United States Government are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of the order.

I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.

               Sincerely,

               BARACK OBAMA