Facebook spamming - the latest craze in Syria

If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Twitter for the past few months, you’ll have spotted our concerns for the people of Syria keeps growing. From our in-depth report of the crackdown in Tell-Kalakh (our very own Neil Durkin talks about one protestor’s torture on our press blog), to video footage that appears to show an unarmed man shot by a sniper, the situation in the country is getting worse and worse – over 20,000 Syrians are now refugees in Turkey, trying to escape the bloodshed.

We’ve already handed in a 165,000-strong global petition calling on the Syrian authorities to stop shooting and shelling Syrian people, and with our current action you can call on UN Security Council members to back a resolution referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

And just as we’re using Facebook and Twitter to spread the word – so are Syrian government ultra-loyalists. Late yesterday, well over 1,000 comments have been posted on our Facebook wall telling us, quite simply, to butt out!

The majority of all of these comments come from a handful of accounts, and repeat the same messages – that we’ve no right getting involved, and that a rash of “armed groups” or “terrorists” means the army must be deployed.

All the evidence we’ve seen confirms our belief that innocent, unarmed protestors are being arrested, tortured, and even shot and killed – including children. Whilst states have a responsibility to maintain order, that’s got to happen within international human rights law. We’ve asked repeatedly for entry into Syria to investigate the authorities’ claims of “armed groups and terrorists” threatening stability, but they won’t let us in. Which is telling in itself.

This Facebook-spamming is just another way of trying to stop us highlighting human rights abuses. That they’ve felt threatened enough by Amnesty’s actions to spend time posting the same messages again and again suggests we’re on the right path. If you’ve not yet, call on key members of the Security Council to protect peaceful protestors. And if you have, share it. A few thousand copied Facebook comments aren’t going to stop us standing up for the rights of Syrians seeking an end to poverty, corruption and repression.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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