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Syria Intensifying Internet Crackdown: Watchdog - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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DAMASCUS (AFP) -Syria has stepped up its muzzling of the Internet, blocking access to a string of websites critical of the regime, including some run by leading dailies, a human rights group said on Saturday.

Sites blocked by firewalls within Syria include the Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat (The Middle East) and the Beirut newspaper Al-Mustaqbal (The Future) run by the family of slain Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria said.

E-mail provider Hotmail has also been blocked since July 17 last year, the watchdog added.

“Freedom of the Internet is regressing in Syria after the authorities blocked access to a string of independent websites,” the group complained.

In November 2005, media watchdog Reporters without Borders named Syria as one of 15 enemies of the Internet around the world.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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