Syria iPhone Ban Reportedly In Effect As Protests Continue
The iPhone has been banned in Steve Jobs' ancestral home of Syria.
As the country enters its ninth month of violent protests, the Syrian government has reportedly outlawed iPhones in a move to crack down on activists who were allegedly using the device to expose government abuse.
On Friday, Times Live reported that, according to the the Lebanese website Al Nashara, the iPhone ban had been issued by the Customs Department of the Syrian Finance Ministry. The Department's statement read in part, "The authorities warn anyone against using the iPhone in Syria."
Said an activist quoted in Times Live, "It is enough for any tourist or guest visiting Syria to own an iPhone to be a spy suspect."
Jobs' biological father, Abdulfattah John Jandali, a native Syrian who did not have a relationship with his famous son, has come out on the side of the protesters in a YouTube video, stating,
"I am in solidarity with the Syrian people. 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."
According to The New York Times, more than 4,000 civilians have been killed since protests began in March.
The same day that the iPhone ban was reportedly issued, Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, called for a U.N. intervention to protect Syrian civilians.
On Friday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that government forces had killed six protesters who were calling for foreign intervention to stop government violence against demonstrators.
In June, the Syrian government shut down the internet and 3G mobile networks to in apparent effort to hamper communications among protesters. President Bashar al-Assad has also banned most foreign journalists from the country.