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Leaked emails show Assad's wife spent thousands on Internet shopping during Syrian uprising

Damascus, Thu, 15 Mar 2012 ANI

Damascus, Mar 15 (ANI): Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's wife Asma spent tens of thousands of pounds on lavish accessories as her husband's regime continued its crackdown on hundreds of pro-democracy protestors, a trove of e-mails received and sent by him and his wife have revealed.


The documents, which activists say are emails downloaded from private accounts belonging to Assad and his wife, Asma, paint a portrait of a first family remarkably insulated from the mounting crisis and continuing to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle.


They appear to show Assad's wife spending tens of thousands of dollars on Internet shopping sprees for designer goods while he was swapping entertaining Internet links on his iPad and downloading dance music from iTunes.


The emails obtained by The Guardian reveal that Asma Assad splashed out on more than 10,000-pounds worth of candlesticks, tables and chandeliers from Paris and instructed an aide to order a fondue set from Amazon as many Syrians faced food shortages and other hardships.


The emails revealed that Assad made light of reforms he had promised in an attempt to defuse the crisis, referring to "rubbish laws of parties, elections, media".


They also showed that a daughter of the emir of Qatar, Hamid bin Khalifa al-Thani, advised Asma and Bashar Assad to leave Syria and suggested that Doha may offer them exile, the paper said.


According to the paper, the emails showed that Assad took advice from Iran on how to handle the uprising against his rule.


Before a speech in December his media consultant prepared a long list of themes, reporting that the advice was based on "consultations with a good number of people in addition to the media and political adviser for the Iranian ambassador".


The memo advised Assad to use "powerful and violent" language and to show appreciation for support from "friendly states". (ANI)


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