- Reuters/Khaled al-Hariri
Asma al-Assad, first lady of Syria and wife of dictator Bashar al-Assad, has been sanctioned by the European Union, banned from shopping with European companies, stifling her penchant for expensive Christian Louboutin shoes.
In addition to sanctioning Asma al-Assad, the EU took steps to put pressure on the al-Assad regime's heinous human rights violations by sanctioning the Bashar al-Assad's mother, sister, and sister-in-law. A cache of hacked emails revealed that the crystal-encrusted Christian Louboutins and Chanel dresses Mrs. Assad enjoys would no longer be an option while Syrian blood continues to be shed.
"With this new listing we are striking at the heart of the Assad clan, sending out a loud and clear message to Assad: he should step down," Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said at an EU ministers' meeting in Brussels.
Asma al-Assad's carefree attitude- records show that she constantly buys luxury goods on the internet while thousands have been slain in the streets- is even more surprising, considering the description of Syrian First Lady just a year ago.
Then, Vogue described her as a "rose in the desert" for her cosmopolitan tastes, and a mother of three who ran a "wildly democratic" household, despite her husband's iron-willed tactics.
Now, as Syrian streets run red with the torture, killing, and detainment of protestors, the thousands of dollars she's spent on jewels, costly furniture, and other overpriced ornaments online seems crass and insensitive.
The EU has throttled much of Asma's shopping spree however, making sure companies or parties can neither send nor receive funds from the al-Assad regime, family members, or even third party shoppers.
"No EU national and no EU company can make any funds or any economic resources available to Asma al-Assad, nor can anyone receive funds or economic resources from her," Nigel Kushner, a U.K. sanctions lawyer, told Independent.ie. "And that means that, essentially, she won't be able to go on any shopping trips in the EU or via third parties."
Despite the ban on Asma's shopping sprees and travel, the U.K. admitted that the Syrian First Lady would most likely be given access to their borders if she so chose. Asma al-Assad was born in London, and still possesses her passport.
"If you are a UK citizen then you can't be refused entry to the UK," said the nation's Home Office.
Kushner stated that it was unlikely that Mrs. al-Assad would be likely to visit, however; any U.K.-based accounts she might have have been frozen by this point.
"To the extent she has any bank accounts in the EU, her assets will be frozen," explained Kushner.