UPDATE: Syria: Questions surround reported disappearance of lesbian blogger
Amina Abdallah Arraf, a prominent, outspoken, lesbian blogger who has been chronicling life in Syria during the uprising in "A Gay Girl in Damascus," was reportedly kidnapped on Monday night in Damascus by armed men, according to the Guardian, which cited a post on her blog.
The blog post, said to be published on Monday by her cousin, Rania O. Ismail, recounts how Abdallah was seized by three armed men while she was walking to a meeting.
Amina was seized by three men in their early 20’s. According to the witness (who does not want her identity known), the men were armed. Amina hit one of them and told the friend to go find her father.
One of the men then put his hand over Amina’s mouth and they hustled her into a red Dacia Logan.
The cousin continued:
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.
Abdallah's mother is American, her father Syrian, and she holds dual citizenship. Her blog, where she writes about life, the Syrian uprising and being a gay woman in her country, has shot to prominence as the protest movement struggles in the face of a brutal government crackdown, and has attracted fans from Syria and around the world, according to the Guardian.
Abdallah has written of her anger about the government's actions and called for an end to President Bashar al-Assad's regime, according to Australia Broadcasting Corporation, writing on Sunday: "They must go, they must go soon. That is all there is to say."
Abdallah began blogging on February 19, according to Time magazine. But it was her April 29 post, "My Father, the Hero," that drew widespread international attention. Abdallah blogged about how her father reacted when security agents came to the house accusing her of, "conspiring against the state, urging armed uprising, working with foreign elements." She described how her father defended her and convinced them to leave.
Abdallah wrote: "MY DAD had just defeated them! Not with weapons but with words...My father is a hero; I always knew that ... but now I am sure ..." She blogged that her father said he wouldn't leave until democracy came or he was dead, and she vowed to do the same.
But soon afterward, on May 4, in a post titled "Gone underground," Abdallah said her "aged father" told her: "They came back for you. This time, there's nothing I can do. Go somewhere and don't tell me where you are. Be safe. I love you."
Abdallah heeded his advice, and moved her life and belongings elsewhere.
"I have no desire to be a martyr, even to my own cause so I will do what I can to stay free," she wrote. "We will have a free Syria and a free nation; it is coming soon. The revolution will succeed and we will rise above sectarianism, despotism, sexism, and all the dead weight of these years of bitterness, of division and partition, of oppression and of tyranny. We will be free."