The EU announced on Friday that Asma al-Assad will have her assets frozen and her travel banned along with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's mother, sister, and sister-in-law, which perhaps puts an end to Mrs. al-Assad's tacky (and expensive) online shopping sprees.
The glamorous Mrs. al-Assad (Vogue famously called her "glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies") has become the Syrian Marie Antoinette since the discovery of leaked e-mails detailing her alleged splurge of tens of thousands of pounds on, as The Guardian reports, "internet shopping sprees on handmade furniture from Chelsea boutiques," "gem-encrusted jewelry chandeliers," and a "fondness for Louboutin's more repulsive designs." The Telegraph notes that she may have even asked a friend to acquire Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (which sounds not unlike a major plot point in The Devil Wears Prada). And there were even a couple e-mail jokes where she called herself "the real dictator" and joked about the stupidity of Homsi (opposition) students--this all in the face of the massacre thats enveloped her country.
"Sanctions are a really important tool," said EU Foreign Policy Chief Baroness Ashton in a BBC report which details that Mrs. Assad is among 12 people added to the sanctions list. As for the travel ban, sources confirm that Mrs. Assad will still be allowed to travel to the United Kingdom, her place of birth, if she has retained citizenship. And The Telegraph reports that her spending habits might have already gotten her into trouble: "Mrs Assad may already have violated sanctions with her online shopping spree that could expose her to prosecution. The regulations prohibit EU citizens from making "funds or economic resources" available to anyone named on the list."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.