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Syrian diplomats harrass diaspora protesters

Amnesty International accused Syrian diplomats of launching a 'systematic' campaign of harassment and threats against expatriate dissidents protesting outside their embassies in eight countries - Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Britain and the United States.

Protesters state that they were initially filmed or photographed by officials, before receiving phone calls, e-mails and Facebook messages warning them to stop the protests.

Amnesty has expressed concern at reports that the relatives of protesters, currently in Syria, have been subject to targetted harassment, detention, torture and outright disappearance.

Neil Sammonds, Amnesty International's Syria researcher, said,

"Expatriate Syrians have been trying, through peaceful protest, to highlight abuses that we consider amount to crimes against humanity - and that presents a threat to the Syrian regime."

"In response the regime appears to have waged a systematic - sometimes violent - campaign to intimidate Syrians overseas into silence.

This is yet more evidence that the Syrian government will not tolerate legitimate dissent and is prepared to go to great lengths to muzzle those who challenge it publicly."

See 'Diaspora must continue to defy' (June 2010)

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