On Monday, at approximately 6:00 pm Damascus time, Amina Arraf, a Syrian-American blogger who has been covering events in Syria on her blog A Gay Girl in Damascus, was walking with a friend when she was abducted by armed men.
Amina’s current location is unknown and it is unclear if she is in a jail or being held elsewhere in Damascus. Her family are desperately trying to locate her. Her blog has received a great deal of media coverage in recent months and has drawn a wide following from Syria and across the world. Amina has shown a great deal of courage in her outspoken criticism of the regime and its repression and in addressing the situation of gays in Syria.
Syrian authorities have long been cracking down on journalists and bloggers and have arrested many since protests began in mid-March. Human rights groups say that more than 1,200 people have been killed and at least 10,000 have been detained, included women and children, many of whom report ill-treatment and torture at the hands of security services.
We, the undersigned, call upon the Syrian regime to immediately release Amina. We ask that everyone with influence in this situation increase their efforts to ensure that she is freed quickly and unharmed.
We ask all human rights organizations both in Syria and internationally to advocate for her release and for the release of all political prisoners and dissidents in the country.
We call on the British government to end its support for repressive regimes and for the use of torture in the region and beyond. We stand in solidarity with the Syrian people and their demands and are opposed to military intervention of any kind.
As Amina wrote in a blog post on the day before her kidnapping: “We want a free and independent Syria and we reject foreign intervention.” In a recent interview with the Guardian, Amina sounded hopeful: “I have to believe that, sooner or later, we will prevail."
Please sign this petition in support of Amina and Syria's detainees.
Updates on Amina's situation will be posted here on her blog:(http://damascusgaygirl.blogspot.com/)