Syrian refugees launch social media storm on Twitter
The campaign launched on Sunday and is ongoing. It gained traction over the past two days as Syrian refugees shared their stories in several languages, to raise awareness about their plight and protest the increasing pushback experienced by refugees across the world.
"I was between death under torture, as happened to three of my brothers, or becoming a refugee. I became a refugee to claim justice for my brothers," tweeted a Syrian activist now living in France.
déplacé en #Syrie après avoir été arrêté et torturé à plusieurs reprise entre le 15 mars et juin 2011. entre la mort sous la torture comme trois de mes frères ou devenir réfugié. Je suis devenu réfugié pour réclamer justice à mes frères #انا_لاجىء #Je_suis_réfugié— Yahia Hakoum (@YHakoum) November 29, 2021
Syria's war has left at least 500,000 people dead and driven millions out of the country since the conflict erupted in 2011. The war was triggered by Assad's brutal repression of nationwide protests against his regime in 2011, which degenerated into open armed conflict between opposition groups and the Syrian army.
Syrian refugees are sharing their stories of revolt, incarceration, survival and displacement using the hashtag #أنا_لاجئ— Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) November 29, 2021
Almost incomprehensible that all this agony, and the pain of millions more, originated in one man who decided to remain in power no matter the cost.
Users widely shared photos and videos of the bombed ruins of their home city and of displacement camps that sprawl across northern Syria to illustrate their plight.
I am a refugee because I was arrested at the age of 13 when I was a child. The police came to the school and took me because I demonstrated in the school against the Assad regime. I am a refugee because I do not want to go back to prison again #أنا_لاجئ— Joseph Alshaysh (@Josephalshaysh) November 29, 2021
The bulk of Syrian asylum seekers have escaped to neighbouring countries, smuggling themselves over the border to Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.
Syrians have sought asylum on every continent but face increasing pressures to return amid rising anti-refugee sentiments in Europe, Turkey, and Lebanon, and increasingly restrictive asylum policies.
Denmark recently deemed Syria "safe" for returns to regime-held areas of the country, despite human rights groups' warnings that returnees faced arbitrary arrest and torture.