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Lesbian Blogger Kidnapped in Syria

Amina Araf, author of the blog “A Gay Girl in Damascus” and voice for the anti-government opposition in Syria, was kidnapped on the streets of Damascus on Monday.

MSNBC reports that Araf, an American-Syrian citizen who wrote under the name Amina Abdallah, was walking with a friend when three armed men in the twenties grabbed her and forced her into a vehicle bearing a window sticker of Bassel Assad, the late brother of President Bashar Assad and former head of security services. Rania Ismail, who identified herself as a cousin of Araf, posted the account of the kidnapping to the blog.

“The blog went on to say, ‘the men are assumed to be members of one of the security services or the Baath Party militia. Amina’s present location is unknown,’” reports MSNBC.

Araf, who wrote openly in a country where homosexuality is illegal, has called for an end to the Bashir regime as the crackdown against demonstrators has intensified over the past two months. Human rights groups report that more than 1,000 Syrians have been killed.

The cousin wrote that Araf’s father, who was in hiding, asked her to share the information about the kidnapping with the world. A Facebook page also has been created calling for her release.

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