Syria: Razan Ghazzawi Arrested… Again

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests.

    UPDATE: Razan Ghazzawi was released on Saturday along with her female colleagues. At the time of writing these lines Razan's male colleagues were still in custody.

Syrian security forces have arrested Syrian blogger and freedom of speech advocate Razan Ghazzawi on Thursday during a raid on the offices of the Syrian Center for Freedom of Expression in Damascus where the activist works. Ghazzawi was arrested along with thirteen of her colleagues, including the head of the center Mr. Mazen Darwish.

This is the second time Razan Ghazzawi is arrested by the Syrian authorities. She was first detained in December 2011 at the Syrian-Jordanian border when she was about to attend a conference on freedom of expression online. Her arrest sparked an online outcry and an international campaign called for her immediate release. Razan was eventually released after spending 15 days in jail.

Ghazzawi is a US-born Syrian blogger who has contributed to Global Voices Online and Global Voices Advocacy. She is one of the few courageous bloggers in Syria who writes under her real name.

One of the Free Razan posters shared by supporters after Razan Ghazzawi was arrested in December last year

The Syrian blog Nidalat [ar] is one of the first outlets to break the news. It posts the following statement:

إننا في المركز السوري للدراسات والأبحاث القانونية ندين هذا الاعتقال ونطالب السلطات السورية بإطلاق سراحهم فورا ونعتبر هذه الخطوة تجاه المدافعين عن حرية التعبير تؤكد موقف وسعي السلطات السورية لخنق أي صوت وحتى خنق الأصوات المدافعة عن حرية التعبير وزيف الادعاءات بالانفتاح والحوار وتعديل الدستور والسماح بالحقوق الأساسية للإنسان.

We at the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research condemn this arrest and call on Syrian authorities to release [the activists] immediately. We consider that this action against the advocates of freedom of expression confirms the position of the Syrian authorities who want to stifle any voice advocating for freedom of expression. It exposes the false claims [of the Syrian government] about openness, dialog and constitutional reform.

The news caused disbelief among netizens who were very quick to react. Nadine Ghazzawi is Razan's sister. She tweets:

@NadineGhazzawi They arrested my sister Razan Ghazzawi again! She got arrested at work in the center of Damascus today evening

Journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin laments:

@ASE: Yet another sad day for #Syria and #FreeSpeech

BSyria remembers his last conversation with Razan:

@BSyria: I chatted with Razan yesterday. I asked her: Are u being harassed? She said, “No, I told u I'm not that important.” #FreeRazan #syria

For more reactions on Ghazzawi's arrest, please check the hashtag #FreeRazan on Twitter. A Facebook page calling for her release is also up.

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests.

18 comments

  • […] 过去两周,某些政府持续镇压线上抗议。对网路运动人士来说,网络世界极为动荡不安。在叙利亚,知名博客暨言论自由推动者扎赞·甘扎维(Razan Ghazzawi)和她的同事又一次被叙利亚政府逮捕。去年12月,甘扎维曾被羁押15天。虽然她和她的女性同僚曾在今年2月18日获得自由,与她共事的男性抗议者依然被关押在狱中。 […]

  • […] a workshop on press freedom in Jordan. After her release she was taken into custody, released and taken into custody again some months later. This Facebook page calls for her release and that of her colleagues from the […]

  • […] a workshop on press freedom in Jordan. After her release she was taken into custody, released and taken into custody again some months later. This Facebook page calls for her release and that of her colleagues from the […]

  • […] Voices i Razan Ghazzawi. Taorian'ny namoahana azy dia notazonina vonjimaika, navoaka fa mbola notazonina vonjimaika indray volana maromaro taty aoriana. Miantso ny fanafahana azy sy ny mpiara-miasa aminy ao amin'ny […]

  • […] й, тя бе задържана под стража, след което освободена и задържана повторно няколко месеца по-късно. Тази Facebook страница […]

  • […] blogger and free speech advocate Razan Ghazzawi was again arrested along with her colleagues by the Syrian government. Last December, Ghazzawi was kept in custody for 15 days. Although she and her female […]

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