Syrian are no longer allowed to use Apple’s iPhone after authorities banned the popular device this week in a bid to stop activists from documenting government violence. Following the move, Steve Jobs’s biological father, John Jandali, announced his support for the Syrian people on YouTube.
Lebanese website Al Nashara reports that the Customs Department of the Syrian Finance Ministry has issued a notice to activists in Syria to inform that using the iPhone is now forbidden. “The authorities warn anyone against using the iphone in Syria,” it read.
One Syrian activist believes that those found using an iPhone in the country from now on will be treated as a spy:
“It is enough for any tourist or guest visiting Syria to own an iPhone to be a spy suspect.”
The move follows protests calling for political reforms and the reinstatement of civil rights in the region, which started on January 26. More than 4,000 people have been killed since protests began, according to The Next Web, and it is believed that iPhones are used to capture the violence and share it on the internet.
In a rather fitting move, Steve Jobs’s biological father, John Jandali, announced his support for the Syrian people today by joining the “Syrian Sit-in” on YouTube. Jandali said:
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.
It’s unclear if other smartphones are allowed in Syria (which is unlikely), but it seems the iPhone has been singled out thanks to its popularity.