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Sanctions against terrorism

The UN Security Council has introduced two separate sanctions regimes – which are binding on member states – to combat international terrorism (1267/1989/2253 and 1373). EU member countries implement these sanctions regimes through common positions and EU regulations.

UN sanctions regime 1267/1989/2253

This sanctions regime was established through UN Security Council Resolution 1267 (1999) with the aim of introducing restrictive measures against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These restrictive measures were further developed through a number of subsequent resolutions to primarily cover sanctions targeting Usama bin Ladin, the Taliban, Al-Qaida and individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them. After the adoption of Resolution 1989 (2011), the measures were divided, after which those that applied in relation to Al-Qaida were regulated in the subsequently mentioned 1267/1989 regime. Sanctions against the Taliban were set in a sanctions regime of its own (see under sanctions against Afghanistan). In December 2015, the 1267 regime was expanded through Security Council Resolution 2253 (2015) to also include ISIL (Da'esh), and the regime is therefore also known as the 1269/1989/2253 regime. To monitor compliance with the sanctions, the UN established the 1267/1989/2253 Committee, which has been instructed to compile a list of those targeted by the sanctions. All Security Council members are on the Committee.

Through various resolutions, the Security Council has subsequently produced better definitions of the criteria used by the UN. Resolution 1617 (2005) provides the definitions used for listing, the right to humanitarian exemptions regarding travel and frozen assets, stricter requirements regarding the basis for listing decisions and a procedure for de-listing requests. Resolution 1822 (2008) determined that a total review of older listings should be carried out, and that brief reasons should be published for all listings. The review was conducted in summer 2010, and regular reviews will subsequently take place of those listed. Resolution 2253 (2015) further expanded the criteria. In July 2017, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2368 (2017) which reaffirmed applicable measures in the form of freezing of financial assets, travel restrictions and arms embargoes targeting individuals and entities on the sanctions list.

Through Resolution 1730 (2006), the Security Council decided to establish a focal point for de-listing within the UN Secretariat. This gave individuals the possibility of turning directly to the UN to request de-listing rather than going through their government. The focal point applies for all sanctions regimes except the 1267 regime. The focal point for the 1267 regime was replaced by an Ombudsperson through Resolution 1904 (2009). Regarding de-listing issues, the Ombudsperson is to act as a contact channel between the persons listed and the Sanctions Committee, and independently gather information about the case that is then presented to the Committee for a decision. Resolution 1989 (2011) has also given the Ombudsperson the right to make recommendations to the Sanctions Committee in de-listing matters. This mandate has gradually been strengthened, most recently through Resolution 2083 (2012). Resolution 2368 (2017) has extended the mandate of the Ombudsperson until the end of December 2021. Important steps have been taken towards greater legal certainty over the past ten years, but the sanctions continue to apply without a time limit and there are still no guarantees for an independent review at UN level of the Security Council's listing decisions.

Information on the 1267 regime can most easily be found on the UN Security Council website (see under external links). The consolidated UN list containing the individuals, groups, undertakings and entities that are currently listed can also be found on this website. In addition, the website publishes decisions on new listings and de-listings.
Sweden has been actively involved in improving the UN's procedures. The Government gives priority to work on ensuring satisfactory legal certainty in the 1267 regime, including better review opportunities regarding decisions taken by the Security Council.

The 1267/1989/2253 regime in the EU

The EU has implemented restrictive measures adopted by the UN through the successive adoption of a number of common positions, and that are currently regulated through Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/1693. The measures are targeted by nature and include arms embargoes, the freezing of assets and travel restrictions regarding individuals, groups, undertakings and entities listed by the UN 1267/1989/2253 Committee. The EU has also introduced autonomous sanctions against ISIL (Da'esh) and Al Qaeda through Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/1693, i.e. the possibility of independently making listings without prior UN decisions. The EU can thus take decisions on listings of natural – and where relevant legal – persons, based partly on criteria that reflects UN criteria and partly on certain criteria of its own. The EU can independently list persons who, in certain specified ways, are associated with ISIL (Da'esh), Al Qaeda or some group that has close connections to these organisations. The EU can also making listings based on serious human rights violations carried out on behalf of ISIL (Da'esh), Al Qaeda or associated groups. Listings can also be made on the basis of trade with, or travel for the purpose of providing support to, these organisations. In addition, individuals can also be listed if they publicly encourage actions in support of these organisations in such a way that there is a risk that terrorist acts may be committed. However, to date there are no listings within the framework of the EU's autonomous sanctions. Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1560 extends the autonomous sanctions against ISIL (Da'esh) and Al Qaeda until 31 October 2018.
Under the influence in part of demands from EU courts for better EU procedures to satisfy the right of listed persons to defend themselves and in part of procedures of the UN Sanctions Committee as amended by Resolution 1822 (2008), procedures have been developed for issuing explanatory statements based on the UN's line of reasoning. Procedures have also been developed regarding providing information to the listed person and reviews of EU listing decisions in cases where the listed person raises objections to the reasons and the listing. Moreover, EU listing decisions can be appealed to EU courts.

The UN special regulatory framework regarding the unfreezing of Usama bin Laden's assets has been introduced by the EU through Council Regulation (EU) No 596/2013.

Council regulations are directly applicable and binding in EU Member States and this regulation contains a list of those who, as a result of decisions by the UN Sanctions Committee, are targeted by the sanctions. The EU list must be updated within 48 hours if the UN list is amended.

UN sanctions regime 1373

This sanctions regime was introduced through Resolution 1373 (2001), which was adopted unanimously by the Security Council on 28 September 2001. The regime was established in response to the attacks of 11 September. The sanctions regime target individuals, groups and entities considered to be involved in terrorism, in addition to those covered by the 1267 regime. In this case, the UN has left it to the member states themselves to determine the targets of the sanctions.
The 1373 regime contains provisions on freezing assets and bans on making assets available to individuals and groups suspected of committing, attempting to commit, participating in or facilitating terrorist acts. The regime also contains a provision on expanded information exchanges and police cooperation between UN member states regarding individuals on the sanctions list.

For this regime the UN has established the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), tasked with monitoring implementation of Resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee is comprised of the countries that are members of the Security Council.

The 1373 regime in the EU

This sanctions regime has been implemented by EU Member States through a legislative package consisting of the two Common Positions (2001/930/CFSP and 2001/931/CFSP) and Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001.

Individuals to be covered by the sanctions are included on lists in annexes to Common Position 2001/931/CFSP and the Council regulation. These lists are established by the Council by unanimous decision and have been updated on a number of occasions. A review of these lists is conducted every six months and separate revisions can be made in between. The result is determined through new council decisions and council regulations, with amended annexes. The latest version of the list is available on the Council of the European Union website under the policy area 'Fight against terrorism' see under 'shortcuts' further down the page).

Those who have their assets frozen in accordance with EU regulations for implementation of Resolution 1373 (2001) are to be informed of the decision and given sufficiently detailed reasons so that they are able to understand the grounds for the decision. Individuals and groups affected are also to be given the opportunity to submit information in support of a request to be removed from the list, and be informed of the option of instituting an action against the Council decision at the General Court of the European Union.

An additional measure that strengthens legal certainty is that the working methods and procedures concerning EU decisions on sanctions against terrorism and review are now public.

In autumn 2016, the Working Party on restrictive measures to combat terrorism (COMET) – which prepares listings in accordance with 2001/931/CFSP – had its mandate expanded to also consider the proposals on autonomous listings in accordance with 2016/1693/CFSP.

Competent Swedish authorities

Listed below are the Swedish government agencies that have been designated competent authorities for sanctions against terrorism.

Swedish Police Authority
Information on circumventing or attempts to circumvent the sanctions is to be submitted to:

Swedish Police Authority
Box 12256
SE-102 26 Stockholm
Tel. +46 8 114 14
Fax +46 10 563 44 44

Finansinspektionen (Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority)Information on freezing measures that have been taken and questions concerning certain exemptions to the freezing of assets are to be addressed to:

Box 7821
SE-103 97 Stockholm
Tel. +46 8 787 80 00
Fax +46 8 24 13 35

Försäkringskassan (Swedish Social Insurance Agency)
Questions concerning exemptions from having assets frozen, for example to meet basic needs, are to be addressed to:

Adolf Fredriks kyrkogata 8
SE-103 51 Stockholm
Tel. +46 8 786 90 00
Fax +46 8 411 27 89