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Authorities block website used to disseminate live videos

(ANHRI/IFEX) – 20 February 2012 – ANHRI condemns the Syrian government for its blocking of the website Bambuser on 16 February 2012 after the website had been used to broadcast live videos of the shelling of Homs city by al-Assad's army. Bambuser specializes in live video streaming to cellphones and laptops; the videos showed the crimes that al-Assad's government commits against Syrian civilians.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian uprising, the Syrian opposition has been using the website to disseminate news of crimes against peaceful protesters. Many media outlets have relied on the videos, which have been broadcast by citizens and activists as a result of the severe suppression of media freedoms by al-Assad's government. The authorities then blocked the website in a new repressive measure imposed by the authorities on the locations considered the headwaters of the protests.

“The blocking of Bambuser is not a surprising action coming from repressive authorities that kill peaceful protesters. However, the previous experiences of the Arab autocracies, overthrown by the Arab Spring revolutions, have provided many lessons that the Syrian regime has failed to learn. Among these lessons is that security solutions increase the severity of the protests, and that repression is not the best way to thwart popular revolutions,” said ANHRI.

“The attempts by al-Assad's government to block Internet websites in order to impose a media blackout on their crimes have already been tried by other regimes that have since been ousted. These attempts were not feasible, especially because the Internet and information have become like air and will eventually reach everyone,” added ANHRI.

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