Monday, June 6, 2011

Free Amina Now

Amina Abdullah is a Syrian woman who edits the A Gay Girl in Damascus blog from Damascus, Syria. Her posts discuss both her personal life and the latest news out of Syria. Unabashedly liberal, her views on Israel and the Palestinians are often extremely divergent from those expressed on this blog. However, her reporting from on the ground provides a rare firsthand impression of life in Syria during the current unrest there. As a result, Amina's blog has drawn the attention of many in the Western press.

Today at about 6pm in Damascus, Amina was abducted by three men presumed to be part of either the Syrian security services or the Baath Party militia. She is an American citizen. Given the powerful anti-Assad tone of her blog, and her flamboyant discussion of the taboo topic of homosexuality, Amina's life is in danger. On her blog, she has described previous abduction attempts in the past few months. Her family, while trying to keep the outside world updated, are themselves in hiding as well.

The abduction of a blogger whose only crime is accurately reporting the treatment of the Syrian people by the Syrian regime is completely illegitimate and demands an international response. Amina is only one of hundreds of Syrians who have been abducted, kidnapped, and arrested in the past few months. These arrests have included a 13 year old child who was arrested and tortured to death by the regime. While Amina herself cannot speak, thousands can speak for her. They demand her immediate release and an end to the crimes against humanity of the Syrian regime. The United States should lead the effort, even if covertly, to secure the release of one of its own citizens, and hold the Syrian government accountable.

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