Increasing pressure on his authoritarian regime, the Obama Administration on Saturday slapped sanctions against wife and children of Muammar Qadhafi and his senior officials.

“Today’s designation should send a strong signal to those responsible for the violence inflicted by Qadhafi and his government that the U.S. will continue steps to increase pressure and to hold them accountable,” said David Cohen, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

The senior officials designated today include Abu Bakr Yunis Jabir - Libya’s Minister of Defense; Matuq Mohammad Matuq - Secretary General of the People’s Committee for Public Works; Abu Zayd Umar Dorda - Director of Libya’s External Security Organization and Abdullah Al-Senussi who is Director of Military Intelligence.

Al-Senussi has also organised mass killings in Benghazi and recruited foreign mercenaries fighting in service of Qadhafi’s regime and is allegedly responsible for the deaths of 1,200 Islamists in Abu Selim prison, the Treasury said.

Treasury has also designated wife of Muammar Qadhafi Safia Farkash, and several of his children: Hannibal Qadhafi who is the head of General Maritime Transport Company of Libya; Saadi Qadhafi - the Commander of Special Forces and Head of the Libyan Football Federation; Muhammad Qadhafi who is the Chairman of Libyan Olympic Committee and Chairman of the General Post and Telecommunications Company; and Saif Al-Arab Qadhafi.

President Obama signed an executive order, on February 25, freezing the assets of Qadhafi regime following the use of violence against civilians and human rights abuses in Libya and safeguarding the assets of the people of Libya from expropriation by authoritarian leader.

To date, the U.S. has frozen more than $32 billion in Government of Libya assets.

As a result of today’s action, any assets of the designees subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and the U.S. nationals are prohibited from engaging in business with them.

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