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Syria bans iPhones due to protest footage online: reports

Syrian customs have banned the iPhone from the country, according to reports.

2011 syria bodies 0Enlarge
Bodies of people killed by Syrian security forces during protests in Daraa city, stored in a mobile refrigerator, May 4, 2011. (Screengrab)

Syria has banned iPhones since most of the images of anti-government protests come from amateur footage posted on the internet, the BBC reported.

The move is being seen as a government effort to control the information leaving Syria.

A statement was issued by the customs department of the Syrian finance ministry saying the authorities "warn anyone against using the iPhone in Syria,” the BBC reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: Syria: UN calls for 'urgent' action to prevent civil war

The Next Web blog reported that activists are being served with these notices from customs. The order prohibits the import of iPhones, the BBC reported.

If the customs document posted on the Lebanese website el-Nashra is authentic, it states that the authorities threatened to confiscate iPhones and prosecute the owners.

Read more at GlobalPost: Arab League suspends Syria over protest crackdowns

According to the BBC, Syrian opposition sources in Beirut confirmed the ban to the German Press Agency.

The revolt has been going on in Syria for the last eight months, and the United Nations estimates 4,000 people have been killed, the Associated Press reported. Protesters demand that President Bashar Assad step down immediately.

Syria has banned most international media from covering the protests, leading to most of the footage coming from activists themselves being posted online.

Read more at GlobalPost: Arab League proposes sanctions against Syria

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/111202/syria-bans-iphones-due-protest-footage-online-reports-video