In an effort to prevent Syrian protesters from recording photos and videos of the violence occurring within the country and posting the material to social media, the Syrian government officially banned the Apple iPhone throughout the country. The father of Apple founder Steve Jobs, who is a native Syrian, spoke out against the government on Youtube after they banned his son's invention.
I am in solidarity with the Syrian people, said Abdulfattah John Jandali, Jobs' biological father. I reject the brutality and killing that the Syrian authorities are committing against the unarmed Syrian people. And because silence is participation in this crime, I declare my participation in the Syrian sit-in on YouTube.
The order to ban iPhones was issued by the Customs Department of the Syrian Finance Ministry. Authorities now threaten to confiscate and prosecute anyone found with an iPhone.
It is enough for any tourist or guest visiting Syria to own an iPhone to be a spy suspect, one unnamed activist told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The Syrian government had already attempted to cripple Syrian communications between protesters in July by shutting down Syria's Internet networks. The government also unplugged the 3G mobile networks, as well as the majority of independent Internet service providers around the country. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has also banned most foreign media from entering the country to report on the protests.
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The UN believes that more than 4,000 Syrian civilians have been killed by their own government since March, even though the protests officially began on Jan. 26. November was the deadliest month since the uprising began, with at least 950 people killed in raids, gun battles, and other forms of violence. Many activists had documented the killings and protests, using their iPhones to share images and clips on YouTube and Twitter.
In light of the manifest failure of the Syrian authorities to protect their citizens, the international community needs to take urgent and effective measures to protect the Syrian people, said Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Several countries within the European Union, as well as Turkey and the Arab League are attempting to pile sanctions onto Syria in an attempt to cut off supplies and cripple the regime. Actual intervention is just about out of the question for most of these countries.
On Friday, government forces killed at least six demonstrators in the southern province of Daraa demanding foreign intervention. Afterwards, Daraa civilians gathered and chanted, the people want the execution of the president.