The country still has no free and independent media and Syrians have no other source of news but the state-run media that recycles official propaganda. President Bashar el-Assad, even more isolated internationally since the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005, continues to tightly control all news.

All newspapers are read before publication by the censorship office run by intelligence officials of the ruling Baath Party. Foreign journalists are spied on and rarely get accreditation. The pan-Arab satellite TV station Al-Jazeera has still not been allowed to open a bureau in Damascus.

Syria is one of the worst offenders against Internet freedom and censors opposition and independent news websites, barring access to those that deal with Syrian policy, monitors online activity to silence dissident voices, and jailing Internet users and bloggers.


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