March 28, 2018 / 4:07 PM / 10 months ago

Swiss slap sanctions on Venezuela, ban ministers and freeze assets

ZURICH, March 28 (Reuters) - Switzerland unveiled a sanctions package against Venezuela on Wednesday, joining other European countries in cracking down on the South American country following alleged human rights violations.

Neutral Switzerland said it was “seriously concerned by the repeated violations of individual freedoms in Venezuela, where the principle of separation of powers is severely undermined and the process in view of the forthcoming elections suffers from a serious lack of legitimacy”.

The sale, supply, export and transit to Venezuela of arms and goods which can be used for internal repression will be banned under the steps which went into effect immediately.

A similar ban also applies to equipment that can be used to monitor and intercept internet and telephone communications, the government said in a statement.

In addition assets have been frozen and entry and transit bans have been issued for people, companies and organisations. These measures were currently directed against seven Venezuelan ministers and high-ranking officials, the government added. (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields)

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