MSNBC reports that Amina Araf, who under the nom de plume Amina Abdallah, wrote the blog, Gay Girl In Damascus, and was "an unlikely spokesperson for the largely anonymous anti-government protests sweeping Syria" has been seized (or is the word "kidnapped") and is missing:
American-Syrian Amina Araf... was walking with a friend when three men in their twenties grabbed her, someone claiming to be her cousin wrote. Being openly gay is very unusual and risky in the region.
"One of the men then put his hand over Amina's mouth and they hustled her into a red Dacia Logan with a window sticker of Basel Assad," a person identifying calling herself Rania O. Ismail wrote on the blog Monday night.
In other words, she is much like you, dear reader. She was just a blogger. She wrote about what she was experiencing in a Syria in flux. And she talked about her life. But in that corner of the world, her views, her life were both enough to bring serious reprisals. Like kidnapping. Like summary arrest. Like being disappeared.
The blog reports:
I have been on the telephone with both her parents and all that we can say right now is that she is missing. Her father is desperately trying to find out where she is and who has taken her.
Unfortunately, there are at least 18 different police formations in Syria as well as multiple different party militias and gangs. We do not know who took her so we do not know who to ask to get her back. It is possible that they are forcibly deporting her.
From other family members who have been imprisoned there, we believe that she is likely to be released fairly soon. If they wanted to kill her, they would have done so.
That is what we are all praying for.
What an extremely scary story. She is someone other bloggers should immediately stand up for. We should be demanding her immediate release.
Please contact the Syrian Embassy in Washington and demand that Amina be freed. Please broadcast this request widely.