The half-American lesbian journalist whose blog has made her an unlikely hero of the Syrian uprising has reportedly been arrested.
According to new posts that appeared today on "A Gay Girl In Damascus," the current whereabouts of regular author Amina Abdullah are unknown.
A writer identifying themselves as Rania O. Ismail, Abdullah's cousin, writes the following:
Earlier today, at approximately 6:00 pm Damascus time, Amina was walking in the area of the Abbasid bus station, near Fares al Khouri Street. She had gone to meet a person involved with the Local Coordinating Committee and was accompanied by a friend.
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.
A second post, which appeared some hours later, has also allegedly been written by Rania, and reads as follows:
I have been on the telephone with both her parents and all that we can say right now is that she is missing. Her father is desperately trying to find out where she is and who has taken her.
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.
The subject of a TIME feature last month, Abdullah's blog, which has 883 regular followers, has been hailed as "an honest and reflective voice of the revolution...in a country that outlaws homosexuality."
A Facebook page has been created to support Abdullah and demanding her release.