This Week in Syria
U.S./European technology will help the Syrian regime track citizens. A Milan-based surveillance company, Area SpA, is currently installing a surveillance system in Syria that can “intercept, scan and catalog virtually every e-mail that flows through the country.”
When the system is complete, Syrian security agents will be able to follow targets on flat-screen workstations that display communications and Web use in near-real time alongside graphics that map citizens’ networks of electronic contacts, according to the documents and two people familiar with the plans.
Equipment for this technology comes from California’s NetApp Inc, Paris’s Qosmos SA and Germany’s Utimaco Safeware AG. [Bloomberg]
One day after Arab League deal, dozens of civilians killed in Homs. Tanks rattled the city of Homs Thursday and witnesses say they saw deceased civilians with bullet wounds in a nearby state-controlled hospital. On Wednesday, Syria accepted a plan from the Arab League which requires the Syrian regime to remove the army from cities, hold talks with opposition leaders and release political prisoners (AL estimates there are 70,000 political prisoners in Syria). Activists said an additional 19 people were killed by tank shelling in the Bab Amro district. On Thursday, the U.S. said they saw no sign of Syria moving forward on fulfilling the Arab League deal. [Reuters]
Syria’s week-long amnesty program begins Saturday, as Western countries urge Syrians not to follow the recommendations. Beginning today, the Syrian government says they guarantee amnesty to citizens who possess or sold weapons. Under the amnesty deal, the Syrian regime encourages citizens to turn in their weapons and turn themselves in to authorities. Both the U.S. and France questioned the sincerity of the amnesty program. [VOA]
See the growing list of detained bloggers and journalists. Reporters Without Borders recently released a list of 22 bloggers and journalists detained by Syrian authorities. The group says the list is “almost certainly incomplete.” [Reporters Without Borders]
3,000. This is the number of people killed in the Syrian uprising since demonstrations began in mid-March, according to the UN.
[Photo: Mohammed Hossam/AFP/Getty Images]