Syria bans iPhone to cover up protest clampdown: report

02 December 2011 - 16:24 By Sapa-dpa

Syrian authorities have banned the use of the iPhone, further tightening curbs on activists using the device to expose government violence against pro-democracy protesters, the Lebanese website Al Nashara reported Friday.

Syrian activists based in Beirut provided dpa with a copy of a ban they said was issued by the Customs Department of the Syrian Finance Ministry.

"The authorities warn anyone against using the iPhone in Syria," read the statement.

Syria has barred most foreign media from the country since the protests began in March.

Opposition activists have been posting on the internet footage of the violent crackdown on protesters.

More than 4 000 people have been killed in Syria since protests started in mid-March, the UN said on Thursday.

"It is enough for any tourist or guest visiting Syria to own an iPhone to be a spy suspect," said one Syrian activist speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

"Steve Jobs must be turning in his grave on learning that his iconic device is banned in his home country," he added.

Jobs, who died in October, was the co-founder and chairman of Apple. Abdel-Fattah Jandali, a Syrian, was the biological father of Jobs.

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