Facebook shows its nasty side with Syrian regime group promising to name-and-shame refugees
The Facebook group's cover photo: "Your land is richer", the slogan reads.
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Supporters of the Syrian government have created a Facebook page that they vow will expose people who have fled the country for comfort abroad, focusing their rage on the children of state officials.
The page is entitled “Syria is not a hotel,” to drive home the idea that Syria’s citizens should not treat the decision to leave the war-torn country lightly. The page also highlights the dire conditions faced by Syrians who have fled the 22-month-old conflict for neighboring countries, where thousands of people have taken shelter in refugee camps.
The page’s creators say they will publish the names of officials’ children or families who have fled the country, starting with those from the government or the Baath Party.
“Do you live in Beirut, Dubai or another capital, and have information about someone who has fled Syria?” an administrator of the page asked. “Contact this page and provide details, so that they can be immediately published.”
The page attracted nearly 2,000 “likes” in its first 24 hours of existence, after it appeared Sunday.
One early post notes that for decades, Syria has been a haven for refugees in the region, such as Palestinians, Lebanese, Kuwaitis and Iraqis. It accuses “imperialism and Zionism and their agents” of seeking to destroy this haven by stirring up conflict in Syria.
However, the page’s principal theme is the “corruption” of Syrians who claim to support the regime but who do not remain in the country, and it singles out the business community for being “weaklings,” or worse.
Tens of thousands of people have fled the country with few resources and ended up in squalid refugee camps, but thousands of other, more well-off Syrians have also moved to countries such as Lebanon or Egypt, living off their substantial savings and closing their businesses back home.
As one comment put it, “the boot of a Syrian soldier is more honorable than all of the Syrian merchants who have fled abroad, and then in the end start lecturing to us.”
A number of comments, however, focused on whether the efforts should instead target corrupt regime supporters inside the country, rather than those who are abroad.
“There are so-called ‘long-standing’ Damascene families who own half of Damascus, and work with the regime, but in secret, finance terror because of their sectarian affiliation ... are you ready to expose them?” one commenter asked.
“Syria should clean itself of these people, and we shouldn’t remain silent again about those who have filled their pockets with the people’s bread and blood, and then fled abroad when living here became too difficult for them,” another commenter said.
By Marlin Dick
Should Facebook allow groups that threaten Syrians? Is it all part of free speech? Tell us what you think below.