Obama to announce sanctions against foreigners who use tech to carry out human rights abuses

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, April 23, 2012 2:26 EDT
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US President Barack Obama, pictured on April 5, 2012. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)
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US President Barack Obama will issue an executive order Monday allowing sanctions to be imposed against foreigners who use technologies to carry out human rights abuses, The Washington Post said.

The order would target those found to have used technologies including cellphone tracking or the Internet to carry out violations.

Citing unnamed officials, the newspaper said the governments of Syria and Iran have used social media and cellphone technology to crack down on dissent and conduct surveillance.

The executive order, which Obama will announce during a Monday speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, will also target companies and individuals assisting the governments of Iran and Syria, the paper said.

The report came after troops in Syria shot dead six civilians on Sunday in Homs despite the presence of UN military observers in the rebel province to pave the way for a 300-strong mission approved by the Security Council.

The UN says well over 9,000 Syrians have been killed since democracy protests erupted in March 2011, while other monitors put the figure at more than 11,000.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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