Britons use social media to spread ‘refugees welcome’ message

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As desperate refugees continue to try and make their way to Europe many Britons have used social media to spread their message that those fleeing persecution are welcome in the UK.

The tragic image of a young Syrian boy washed ashore on a beach in Turkey went viral, and prompted people to call on the Government to address the plight of those trying to escape war-torn countries.

A petition urging the Government to accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugees in the UK has gained more than 50,000 signatures and an associated social media campaign #refugeeswelcome has been a top trend on Twitter.

Actor Douglas Booth, who is also a supporter of the UN Refugee Agency, tweeted the shocking image of the three-year-old boy, named as Aylan Kurdi, lying dead on the beach and said: “This is about our common humanity. No person fleeing war or persecution should have to die crossing a sea to reach safety.”

RAF veteran Harry Leslie Smith said he was shocked, aged 92, to see a refugee crisis he likened to that which affected Europe at the end of the Second World War.

He wrote: “By not making #refugeeswelcome Cameron’s gov’t has shown that it doesn’t want to be a true partner with Europe or with the human race.

Refugees in a rubber dinghy arriving on the beach at Psalidi on Kos aecd6113-4790-48d2-a3c5-fa68b3b6

Refugees in a rubber dinghy arriving on the beach at Psalidi on Kos aecd6113-4790-48d2-a3c5-fa68b3b6

“70 years ago at end of WW2 I witnessed that #refugeecrisis in Europe @ 92 didn’t think I’d see it again.”

Sarah Brown, wife of former Labour prime minister Gordon, told of her sorrow at the death of Aylan and his five-year-old brother Galip.

She wrote: “My boys are tucked up safely tonight. Every child deserves to feel safe and loved. RIP Aylan and Galip.”

Television presenter Richard Bacon was heavily critical of Britain’s current stance on refugees, tweeting: “Let’s call Britain’s attitude to refugees what it is. Selfish. Inhuman. Indifferent. Uncharitable. Unchristian. Unpleasant.”