STATEMENT BY HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS AND DEFENDERS
Authorities in Syria arrested Syrian blogger, feminist, and activist for free expression Razan Ghazzawi on December 4, 2011. She was at the Jordanian border, traveling to attend a conference on media freedom in the Arab world. She was representing the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), where she works as a coordinator.
Razan, a poet and critic as well as an activist, studied English literature at Damascus University and comparative literature at Balamand University in Lebanon. Since 2009, she has blogged on human rights, international solidarity, and Syrian politics at www.razanghazzawi.com. She is one of very few bloggers in Syria who writes under her own name; and she has consistently spoken out for women, for ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, and for all victims of discrimination or abuse.
For many of us in Egypt, in the region, and around the world, Razan is a mentor, an ally, and a personal friend. Her principled commitment to human rights has been an example to us. Her courage and her willingness to face danger head-on have been an inspiration.
In one of her last blog posts before she was arrested, Razan wrote: “I do not believe in a ‘national consciousness,’ I don’t believe in nationality …Once we drop hyphenations, we become as one.” In that spirit, we say: Razan’s struggle is our struggle. The Syrian people’s battle for freedom is our battle. Now we ask you for your solidarity and support.
What can you do?
1) Contact Syrian diplomatic representatives in your countries immediately. In faxes or phone calls, urge:
- that Razan Ghazzawi be released unconditionally;
- that she be protected from torture or ill-treatment while she remains in detention;
- that all political prisoners in Syria be released;
- that Syria end arbitrary arrests, torture and ill-treatment of detainees, and violence against protesters and opposition members.
2) Organize peaceful vigils or demonstrations at Syrian embassies or consulates calling for the release of Razan Ghazzawi and all political prisoners in Syria.
This statement is signed by:
- Ahmad Ragheb – Human rights activist-Executive director (Hisham Mubarak Law Center)
- Dalia Abd El Hameed – Human rights activist – Gender officer (Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights)
- Mona Seif – Human rights activist (No to Military Trials)
- Mozn Hassan – Feminist, human rights activist- Executive director (Nazra for Feminist Studies)
- Scott Long – Human rights activist (Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School)
- Tarek Moustafa – Feminist, human rights activist (Nazra for Feminist Studies)
- Yara Sallam – Feminist, human rights activist (Nazra for Feminist Studies)