Twitter action for Eynulla Fatullayev has impact in Azerbaijan – not all of it what we expected! | Urgent Action Network blog | 25 May 2011 | Amnesty International UK

Twitter action for Eynulla Fatullayev has impact in Azerbaijan – not all of it what we expected!

Our Twitter action yesterday for wrongly-imprisoned Azerbaijan journalist Eynulla Fatullayev certainly had an impact in Azerbaijan and here in the UK.

Our message to President Aliyev – “Eynulla Fatullayevi Azad et!”, or “Free Eynulla Fatullayev” was tweeted about 600 times to the President’s account. Top journalists at our Media Awards lent their support, including Jon Snow from Channel 4 News, John Mulholland from the Observer and Private Eye’s Ian Hislop. The message was tweeted and retweeted by supporters in Azerbaijan too.

But it seems that not everyone in Azerbaijan likes what we’re saying…

Some government supporters in Azerbaijan have reacted angrily online. If you took the action, you may have got some flak from these tweeters in response.

This was then taken a step further, presumably by the same people. Some of the photos taken at the Media Awards, of people holding up our “Eynulla Fatullayevi Azad et!” placard, were photoshopped with pro-Azerbaijan or anti-Amnesty messages and tweeted back. Cheeky.

To say that Amnesty is picking on Azerbaijan is ridiculous – take a look at our ‘actions’ page and you’ll see that Eynulla’s is just one of many cases we’re working on. It’s not even accurate to imply, as the doctored pics do, that we’ve failed to comment on the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. There’s this comprehensive report that we issued at the time, for instance.

As far as we’re concerned, we’re happy that our action has rattled a few cages in Azerbaijan. After 50 years of speaking truth to power, Amnesty’s got a very thick skin: we’re quite used to governments and their supporters reacting angrily to our criticism of their human rights records.

We certainly won’t stop campaigning for Eynulla. In fact, supporters in the USA are now picking up the baton and promoting the Twitter action. We’re planning more work on his case, as part of a sustained campaign. Keep an eye on the www.amnesty.org.uk/eynulla page for updates.

Eynulla Fatullayev is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned for the peaceful expression of his beliefs, and should be released immediately and unconditionally. A few photoshopped pictures aren’t going to stop us campaigning for him. Or you, we hope – thank you for making our Twitter action a success.

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