Finland uses Facebook in Arabic to inform potential asylum seekers

GMT 20:21 2015 Saturday ,24 October

Arab Today, arab today Finland uses Facebook in Arabic to inform potential asylum seekers

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Helsinki - XINHUA

Finland has tried to use social media to tell potential refugees in the Middle East about tightened criteria applied in Finland.

Head of the current events information unit at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Vesa Hakkinen, told newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that Facebook entries in Arabic language will convey the changes announced this week in eligibility for asylum in Finland.

The target audience is Iraqi young men, both in Iraq and in Turkey.

This week, the Finnish Immigration Authority widened the areas of Iraq considered safe. It also said decisions would be based more on the individual situation of the applicant.

Hakkinen said that the core aim of the social media effort is to distribute "correct information" instead of "false information".

He said Facebook is cost effective.

The news about the use of Facebook was first disclosed by the parliamentary group of the True Finns and confirmed later by the Ministry.

The Finns Party has been demanding tough scrutiny of asylum seekers. Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini is chairman of the party.

Unlike some other European countries, Finland does not maintain any public media channels in Middle Eastern languages.

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