Lesbian blogger kidnapped at gunpoint in Damascus
An unknown group of men have abducted the author of a popular Syrian blog known as "A Gay Girl in Damascus."
Amina Arraf, a Syrian-American who blogs under the name Amina Abdalla, was kidnapped at gunpoint while on her way to a meeting in the Syrian capital.
Her blog, which went live in February, features poetry alongside essays critical of the Assad regime.
"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," Arraf's cousin, Rania O. Ismail, wrote in a blog post on Amina's website.
"One of the men then put his hand over Amina's mouth and they hustled her into a red Dacia Logan with a window sticker of Basel Assad. The witness did not get the tag number...The men are assumed to be members of one of the security services or the Baath Party militia. Amina's present location is unknown and it is unclear if she is in a jail or being held elsewhere in Damascus."
Ismail said there were at least 18 different "police formations" in Syria, as well as various party militias and gangs.
"We do not know who took her so we do not know who to ask to get her back. It is possible that they are forcibly deporting her... From other family members who have been imprisoned there, we believe that she is likely to be released fairly soon. If they wanted to kill her, they would have done so. That is what we are all praying for."
Arraf's partner Sandra Bagaria - who lives in Montreal - told FoxNews she "crashed to the street" upon hearing Amina was kidnapped.
"I haven't had a moment of calm since...And I haven't heard any updates about her since I found out she's missing. It's a nightmare."
Want to show solidarity with Amina?
Friends and supporters of the popular blogger have created a "Free Amina Abdalla" Facebook page which can be viewed and "liked" here.