Posts tagged “Syria”

Could Syria Be Next? Protests By Arab Internet Bloggers

“Recent political unrest in the Middle East showed numerous dissatisfactions with the style of governance which seek to dictate and control its people. The detention of a young Syrian blogger has aroused the Arab blogosphere to protest against such suppression.

The arrest and detention of Google employee, Wael Ghanim, earlier this year encouraged the demonstrations in Cairo and Alexandria that led to the Tahrir Square revolution which ousted President Mubarak on 11 February 2011. He was arrested for his initiative on his Facebook page for organising protests. A different but similar case is developing in Syria involving a teenaged blogger, Tal Al Malouhi.”

From Eurasia Review

Wave of arrests of Syrian bloggers

“Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrests of more bloggers in recent weeks in Syria, where the regime treats netizens and bloggers as enemies and fears their ability to use the Internet to exchange information and, potentially, organize protests.

One of the latest to be arrested is Ahmad Hadifa, who is known by the blog name of Ahmad Abu Al-Kheir. Military security officials detained him in the northwestern city of Baniyas on the morning of 20 February. The next day, they confiscated his computer from his home. He was reportedly due to be interrogated by military intelligence in Damascus today.”

From Reporters Without Borders

Wave of arrests of Syrian bloggers

“Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrests of more bloggers in recent weeks in Syria, where the regime treats netizens and bloggers as enemies and fears their ability to use the Internet to exchange information and, potentially, organize protests.

Syria is one of the countries on the “Enemies of the Internet” list that Reporters Without Borders updates every year.”

From Reporters Without Borders

US launching Chinese, Russian, Hindi Twitter feeds

“WASHINGTON — Just days after launching Twitter feeds in Arabic and Farsi to communicate directly with people in the Middle East, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Tuesday that the State Department would begin sending messages in Chinese, Russian and Hindi.

Clinton, in a speech on Internet freedom at George Washington University here, said the United States is “committed to continuing our conversation with people around the world.”

Clinton singled out China, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Syria and Vietnam as countries which practice censorship or restrict access to the Internet.”

From AFP

Security court sentences young woman blogger to five years in prison

“Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the cruelty and injustice of the five-year jail sentence that a Damascus state security court imposed today on Tal Al-Mallouhi, a 19-year-old high school student and blogger, on a charge of ‘divulging information to a foreign state,’ namely the United States.

Mallouhi, whose blog consisted of just poems and comments about society, was held incommunicado for nearly 11 months following her arrest on 27 December 2009 and has been subjected to the most appalling conditions. She is now being held in Duma prison, near Damascus.

From Reporters Without Borders

Syria and Facebook: Not quite friends

“Yesterday, less than a week after activists held a candlelight vigil in Damascus to show solidarity with protesters in Egypt, Syria’s authoritarian government ended a national ban on Facebook and YouTube.

But the jury is out on whether the move by Bashar al-Assad’s government was a legitimate effort to permit greater freedom of expression, a PR stunt or, worse, a means to monitor expressions of unrest.”

From The Washington Post

Syria Restores Access to Facebook and YouTube

“The Syrian government began allowing its citizens Wednesday to openly use Facebook and YouTube, three years after blocking access to Facebook and other sites as part of a crackdown on political activism. Human rights advocates greeted the news guardedly, warning that the government might have lifted the ban to more closely monitor people and activity on social networking sites.

The move comes just weeks after human rights activists in Egypt used Facebook and other social media tools to help mobilize tens of thousands of people for antigovernment protests. Activists in Tunisia used the Internet in December and January to help amass support for the protests and revolt that toppled the government of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.”

From The New York Times

Syria lifts ban on social media sites Facebook, YouTube

“[JURIST] Syrian Internet users reported on Tuesday that social media sites Facebook [website; JURIST news archive] and YouTube [website; JURIST news archive] are accessible without proxy servers or VPNs. Syria appears to be lifting the ban imposed in 2007 as a concession to avoid popular upheaval [DP report] in Syria.”

From Jurist

Syria to set Facebook status to unbanned in gesture to people

“Syrian authorities are to lift a five-year ban on Facebook in a move seen as an apparent “appeasement” measure, aimed at staving off unrest in the country following recent political developments in Egypt and Tunisia.

In a rare and candid interview, President Bashar al-Assad told the Wall Street Journal last week that he would push through political reforms this year aimed at initiating municipal elections, granting more power to non-governmental organisations and establishing a new media law.”

From The Guardian

The Syrians are watching

“Like Egypt, Syria has been ruled for decades by a single party, with a security service that maintains an iron grip on its citizens. Both countries have been struggling to reform economies stifled for generations by central control in an effort to curb unemployment among a ballooning youth demographic.

In Syria, where thousands of websites deemed opposed to state interests are blocked and where Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media are banned, authorities denied accusations they had restricted the service to prevent citizens hearing about events in Cairo.

Earlier this week, though, authorities banned programmes that allow access to Facebook Chat from mobile phones, a cheap and easy means of staying in touch that had exploded in popularity among young Syrians.”

From Aljazeera