Hundreds of emails from embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's ministerial office were leaked on Monday by hacker collective Anonymous.
The hacktivists stole and published email details from over 78 inboxes of Assad's aides and advisers. Among those exposed were Mansour Fadlallah Azzam, minister of presidential affairs, and Assad's media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban.
One of the email files is a document preparing Assad for a December interview with ABC's journalist Barbara Walters, Haaretz newspaper reports.
Days before the interview, UN Syrian Press Officer Sheherazad Jaafari sent an email to former AlJazeera journalist Luna Chebel, now at the court of Assad. Jaafari, who is also the daughter of Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, was involved in arranging the interview with Walters.
In the email extracts, Jaafari seems concerned about how American media portray the bloodshed and widespread violence in the country. "There is no mention of how many soldiers and security forces have been killed. They think that the bloodshed is done by the government to attack the innocent civilians and peaceful demonstrators."
In another passage, Jaafari underlines that Syria does not have an organised police force and mistakes have been made in reporting the beginning of the protests: "The American psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are 'mistakes' done and now we are 'fixing it.' It's worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street and the way the demonstrations are been suppressed by policemen, police dogs and beatings."
She adds that it should be highlighted how Syria doesn't have a policy to torture people, unlike the USA. "Syria doesn't have a policy to torture people, unlike the USA, where there are courses and schools that specialize in teaching policemen and officers how to torture," Jaafari wrote.
It is not true, according to the press attaché, that international media were forbidden access to Syria. "In the first month the international media was allowed in Syria," Jaafari wrote. "Both Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya's offices were open but when they started to manipulate what is happening and 'make up facts', the Syrian government became more cautious about who will enter the country."
Meanwhile, reports suggest that the Anonymous wing known as LulzFinancial has released and published on Pastebin a dump of Syrian Government emails and passwords.