Facebook removes pic of N.Irish lawmaker with bullet wound

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A unionist Northern Irish lawmaker said Monday Facebook had removed an image of him with a bullet hole through his head, which was put up after he criticised a recent report on Bloody Sunday.

Gregory Campbell, of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), became the target of online death threats after he made critical remarks about the long-awaited Saville report into one of the province's darkest episodes.

The report into the incident, which saw 13 people shot dead by British soldiers at a civil rights march in Londonderry in 1972, was released Tuesday and concluded none of the victims were armed.

It also said soldiers gave no warnings before opening fire.

But Campbell -- whose constituency is in Londonderry -- called for more focus on the victims of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), whose members fought during Northern Ireland's Troubles to wrest control of the province from Britain.

His stance angered republicans and led to Facebook sites being set up which attacked him.

"I was informed by a member of the public that a group site had been set up. Upon investigation I discovered that there were scores of vile, vicious references to me and some of my colleagues," he said.

He said a similar Facebook site was also set up which contained a picture of an altered election poster with a bullet hole through his forehead.

"When it became clear that in a few days over 700 people had signed up to supporting one of these sites it became clear that action was called for," said the lawmaker.

Campbell said he had been in contact with Facebook to ensure that the sites are closed down and also with the police to investigate if those responsible can be prosecuted.

© 2010 AFP

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