The Biden administration introduced new sanctions to prisons, Assad regime officials and militia leaders, on Wednesday. “Eight Syrian prisons, five Assad regime officials in the institutions that run those facilities, two militia groups and two militia leaders,” were sanctioned according to a statement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. One of the prisons was found guilty of serious human rights abuse and extrajudicial executions.
Blinken’s statement included a call for the international community to support US efforts in implementing a nationwide ceasefire, to immediately release those arbitrarily detained, and information about the fate of the missing. New sanctions are argued to “underscore the US’ commitment to promoting respect for human rights and accountability for abuse against Syrians and creating conditions for “lasting peace or economic prosperity.”
The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 was named after a Syrian regime defector, Caesar, who worked as an official photographer for the military of the Assad regime and exposed the cruel treatment of detainees, particularly in military hospitals. The Protection Act was designed to address the lack of accountability by sanctioning perpetrators of crimes against humanity.