Outspoken Syrian activist arrested at Jordanian border
Published Monday, December 5, 2011
Prominent Syrian blogger, feminist, and human rights activist Razan Ghazzawi, who has championed the cause of political activists locked up by the Assad regime, was reportedly arrested Sunday at the Syrian-Jordanian border.
Ghazzawi was on her way to attend a workshop in Amman about freedom of the press in the Arab world as the representative of the Syrian Center for Media and Free Expression, the center said in a statement reporting the arrest.
A social media campaign on Twitter (#FreeRazan) and Facebook is well underway demanding her release.
Following news of her arrest, Ghazzawi’s Facebook page was disabled, reportedly by a friend.
A campaign that sprung up on Facebook urged supporters to write letters to President Bashar Assad demanding her release.
Famous Egyptian blogger Zeinobia praised Ghazzawi’s unwavering sense of justice:
Razan has been active and outspoken when it comes to injustice, she stood with Hezbollah during the 2006 war. She stood with Syrian Islamist bloggers despite the complete ideological difference between them and her. She is from the few Syrian bloggers that used to blog with her real name. She is US born yet she is an Arab leftist nationalist.
A statement circulating in the blogosphere demanding the release of Ghazzawi described the activist as:
not the first nor the last to be arrested, the waves of arrests, state-terror and killing is continuing in Syria as we read these lines. Yet, for some of us who know Razan it is humbling how courageous Razan is and how courageous hundred of thousands Syrians in Syria and all over the world to resist a regime known for its vicious and monstrous intelligence services and secret police.
The Syrian Centre for Freedom of Expression strongly condemned the arrest and described it as “a continuation of the process of constraining and suffocating civil society in Syria and a desperate attempt to scuttle freedom of expression.”
The center called for the immediate and unconditional release of Ghazzawi and held the authorities responsible for any physical or psychological harm that befalls her.
A graduate of comparative literature from the University of Damascus, Ghazzawi set up her personal blog titled Razaniyyat (razanghazzawi.com) in 2009.
The latest entry dated Dec 1 2011 on her blog (when visited Sunday night) was about the freeing of Syrian blogger Hussein Ghrer.