Syrian Lesbian Blogger Amina Abdallah Missing In Damascus


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06/06/11-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire

At approximately 6:00 pm Damascus time, Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari of the websites A Gay Girl in Damascus and LezGetReal was abducted by three men. Amina was walking in the area of the Abbasid bus station near Fares al Khouri Street. She was on her way to meet a person involved with the Local Coordinating Committee and she was accompanied by a friend of hers. The two were separated. Amina is openly lesbian and has been part of the opposition to the Assad government in Syria.

Her cousin Rania O. Ismail posted on Amina’s website:

Amina told the friend that she would go ahead and they were separated. Amina had, apparently, identified the person she was to meet. However, while her companion was still close by, 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.

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. She promptly went and found Amina’s father.

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.

Her father asked that this information be shared with her contacts in hopes that someone may know where she is and in hopes that she might be released shortly. Please visit this site if you have information on Amina’s whereabouts.

Her abduction comes as 120 Syrian police were killed in a bombing today by militants.

Rania also wrote:

We are hoping she is simply in jail and nothing worse has happened to her. Amina had previously sent me several texts to post should something happen to her and we will wait until we have definite word before doing so.

Rania later reported that:

Unfortunately, there are at least 18 different police formations in Syria as well as multiple different 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.

We here at LGR are also praying for her and hope that she is either released from custody or deported soon. Hopefully, given Amina’s citizenship status, the American Embassy has been contacted and she will be safe.

Amina has been writing for LGR off and on for over a month now on the subject of homosexuality in the Arab world. That changed when the pro-democracy movement hit Syria. She has been cross posting articles between here and her site as she can. We all hope and wish that she is safe, and that she will be released soon.

Amina has not been afraid of arrest. Indeed, she has not been afraid at all of the consequences that she faced at the hands of the Assad Regime. In April, Syrian security forces tried to arrest her, and used a variety of crude words to describe her. Homosexuality is still illegal in Syria, though the law is not often enforced. In another incident, the security forces attempted to trick Amina into going to a specific spot by hacking into her girlfriend’s email and sending a letter to her. Luckily, Amina and her girlfriend had set up a series of code words to work out just in case of something like this.

Amina has dual citizenship with Syria and the United States. She lived in the US for quite some time, including almost attending Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia. She decided not to attend because, at the time, she had trouble handling the number of open lesbians who were on campus. She moved back to Syria in order to try and enjoy a quiet life.

Amina has been part of the LGR family for a while now writing articles about life as a lesbian in Syria. We here are praying for her safety and doing what we can to make sure that she gets out of this safe and alive.

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4 Comments

  1. Ghis

    Maybe getting as much publicity for this offense as possible – and as far-spread as possible – will help Amina… hopefully… At least it should be better than no echo at all, which might signal the perpetrators that nobody even cared…

  2. Gabi

    thank you for posting this article. i do not see many sites reporting on this and it’s really terrible. can you recommend any way we can help spread the news and help Amina? Is there a petition going around? Again, thanks for posting this!

  3. Ghis

    P.S.: According to The Guardian, various groups have formed on Facebook in support of Amina… the following being the one I found: //www.facebook.com/FreeAminaArraf

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