A blogger in Syria, Razan Ghazzawi, was arrested on Sunday evening while attempting to cross the country’s border with Jordan in order to attend a media conference. Since the arrest, no news of her location or condition has been released by the Syrian authorities.
First Syria’s government banned virtually all foreign media from the country then, just last week, attempted to suppress citizens’ ability to dispense updates and footage of events to the world by banning anyone from possessing an iPhone. Ghazzawi’s last post on her blog before being arrested elated that fellow Syrian blogger, Hussein Ghrer, had just been released by the Syrian authorities after being detained for 37 days.
Twitter users have demonstrated their support by changing their userpics to a photo of Ghazzawi as well as unifying their support with the hashtag #FreeRazan:
@alaa s and #Razans every time you imprison one? #FreeAlaa #FreeRazanDear oppressors,do you realize that you’re breeding thousands of
@redrazan is one of my heroes: http://t.co/VB4RrRgKWhy
In spite of the Syrian government’s outright aggression against reporters, Ghazzawi maintained her blog under her real name – a point that some have speculated made her a vulnerable target. In what could only be regarded as a deeply grim irony, that Ghazzawi’s disappearance should become a rallying point contrasts with the pragmatic if not humble importance she reserved for herself:
So for some reason, people think that my existence in conferences is useful in a way. The so-called “Arab Spring” is getting a lot of NGOs rich, and these NGOs must get “involved” in the revolutions that have swept the Arab-speaking region in 2011. Conferences love bloggers the most. The world still assumes that the revolution in Egypt was made by bloggers, and hence bloggers in Arab-speaking countries must be invited, because they must have some interesting role in their country, and not to mention how journalism always create “heroes” in every “crisis,” the Hollywood-style. I’ve said it many times on this blog and I am saying it again: “online activists are overrated,” and not just in Syria, but all over the MENA region. And the “social media + revolutions” is the stupidest and most irritating topic made by ignorant “experts.”
Follow #FreeRazan on Twitter for updates on Ghazzawi’s status and further developments in this story. Additionally, Mideast Youth has compiled a list of actions for supporters to do to demand the release of Ghazzawi.