Syrian opposition groups are using Facebook and Twitter sites to call for a "day of rage" protest in the country Friday.
Drawing inspiration from the Internet-savvy Egyptian protesters, an online campaign called for anti-government demonstrations Friday and Saturday in the Syrian capital Damascus.
The activists are demanding reforms from the government of President Bashar al-Assad, Syria's ruler for three decades.
"Together for a Day of Rage in Syria," read one Facebook page joined by more than 2,500 people. It says the goal is to "end the state of emergency in Syria and end corruption."
Another 850 joined a page backing Assad, a British-trained physician who inherited power from his father in 2000, after three decades of rule.
Social networking sites were integral to rallying protesters in Tunisia and Egypt, but Facebook is banned in Syria, which makes organizing more difficult. Syrians manage to access the social networking site anyway.
Assad has moved slowly to lift Soviet-style economic restrictions, letting in foreign banks, opening the doors to imports and empowering the private sector. But he has not matched liberal economics with political reforms and critics of the regime are routinely locked up, drawing an outcry from international human rights groups.
Organisers said demonstrations would be held in the Syrian cities of Damascus, Homs, Aleppo and Qamishli, and in countries including Canada, US, UK, Sweden and the Netherlands.
"For all the fine Syrians who live outside the Syria ... you can help your brothers in Syria by demonstrating in front of Syrian embassy where you live, the same day and same time," one post on Facebook read.
Calls for protests in a numer of Middle East countries are circulating on Twitter, including Yemen, February 3, Algeria, February 12, Bahrain, February 14 and Libya, February 30.
AgenciesLast Mod: 03 Şubat 2011, 11:37