Syria Tracks, Intimidates Protesters Around the World
US government, Syrian-Americans accuse Syria of threatening dissidents
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2011 6:48 AM CDT
Syria has been accused of monitoring and intimidating people protesting Syria in the United States and around the world.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Not content to oppress and kill dissidents at home, Syria is tracking and intimidating opponents around the world, as well as their relatives and friends in Syria, reports the Wall Street Journal. At least six Syrian-Americans tell the paper that their protests and activism in the United States have led to family members being arrested or roughed up in Syria, accusations backed by US government officials, who say they have "credible" evidence this is happening. "We received reports that Syrian mission personnel under Ambassador Moustapha's authority have been conducting video and photographic surveillance of people participating in peaceful demonstrations in the United States," says the State Department.

Imad Moustapha strongly denied those accusations, calling them "slander and sheer lies," but the US government has restricted him to a 25-mile radius around DC to prevent additional intimidation, and the FBI is investigating the ambassador and his staff. "The United States Government takes very seriously reports of any foreign government actions attempting to intimidate individuals in the United States who are exercising their lawful right to freedom of speech as protected by the US Constitution," says the state department.
 

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