Syria bans iphones
Beirut: Syrian government has banned iphones on Saturday, a move which could be seen as a desperate attempt to control information getting out of the country.
It appears that Syrian authorities believe the iPhone assists protesters in capturing violent clashes and uploading it to video-sharing websites.
President Bashar Assad's regime has already banned the use of several types of social media after protests started in January this year.
Activists within the country are now being served with notices from the Customs Department of the Syrian Finance Ministry, stating that iPhones are now banned.
The latest move is also a counter attack on the opposition, which launched its own iPhone application to broadcast anti-government news last month.
Protests and violence in Syria have continued for nine consecutive months and the government has barred most foreign media from the country.
Meanwhile, fresh violence in Syria left 18 people dead today, most of them killed in a battle between security forces and anti-regime military defectors in a restive northwestern city, activists said.
The fighting came a day after the United Nations' human rights chief called on the international community to protect Syrian civilians.
The UN's top human rights official said this week that Syria is in a state of civil war, and that more than 4,000 people have been killed since mid-March.
On Friday, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that "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,"
Earlier, Pillay characterised the conflict in Syria as a civil war.