Lesbian Blogger Missing in Damascus
By Flash Steinbeiser
Amina Abdallah Araf, a lesbian blogger participating in the Syrian protests, was kidnapped yesterday, according to a recent post on her blog, A Gay Girl in Damascus. The post, supposedly written by Araf's cousin Rania O. Ismail, says that Araf was walking home from a meeting with a friend when she was confronted by "three men in their early 20's." The three men were armed, grabbed Araf and threw her into a red Dacia Logan. Before she was taken away, Araf told her friend to run and contact her father, according to the post.
Isamil believes that Araf, a Syrian-American, was taken by one of Syria's many secret militias. According to her post, Isamil was hopeful that Araf was only detained, and would only be deported back to America.
"From other family members who have been imprisoned there, we believe that she is likely to be released fairly soon," she wrote. "If they wanted to kill her, they would have done so."
Araf, who openly criticized the Syrian government and President Bashar al-Assad, while also giving updates of the protest movement in her blog starting in February, indicated that she was planning on leaving Syria soon. As she wrote in a post on Sunday, "Today or tomorrow might be the last one for me; or, tomorrow might be the first day of the new Syria. Ben Ali is gone, Mubarak is gone, Saleh, they say, is gone as well. Assad has not much longer and I plan to see him go."
For immediate updates on Araf's condition, visit A Gay Girl in Damascus.
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