Straight from Twitter: Syrian Blogger Finally to be Set Free
In a surprising move, the Syrian government has agreed to release Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi. (Image courtesy of "alternativenews.org")
Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi was released by authorities, her sister Nadine said on her personal Twitter account after a day of speculation on the micro-blogging site.
“It’s raining Razans… hallelujah :) It’s official, sis is out! hopefully the same goes to all arrested sisters and brothers,” she wrote.
The young woman was arrested on her way to Amman to attend a conference on press freedom and media in the Arab world.
Ghazzawi is one of the few writers in Syria to publish under her own name. In her blog, she exposes the human rights abuses crafted at the hands of the brutal Syrian regime, and advocates for freedom of expression and the rights of bloggers and activists.
Her last post, dated December 1, celebrated the release of Syrian blogger Hussein Ghrer, who was in detained by Syrian authorities for 37 days.
“Hussein is going to be home tonight, where he will be holding his wife tight, and never let go of his two precious sons again. It’s all going to be alright, and it will all be over very soon,” she wrote, just days before her own detention.
Ghazzawi’s friends and colleagues were moderating her Twitter account (@RedRazan) and blog.
A popular call for her release had echoed around the world, as the hashtag #freeRazan trended on Twitter.
In a bloody crackdown on the ongoing anti-government protests in Syria, authorities in the state have killed at least 5,000 citizens, according to official United Nations estimates.
A total ban on foreign media in the state has left coverage of events to independent bloggers and activists, who post blog entries and videos online at risk of arrest and torture.
Likewise in Egypt, prominent bloggers Alaa Abdel Fattah and Maikel Nabil Sanad continue to be detained by authorities for charges related to their blogging and activism.
** Sarah Sheffer contributed to this report.
By Joseph Mayton