U.S.-born Syrian blogger and activist Razan Ghazzawi was arrested Sunday at the Syrian-Jordanian border, reportedly as she was on her way to a conference on press freedom in Amman.
A statement issued by the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom, where Ghazzawi worked to document violations and arrests during the uprising against President Bashar Assad, said she was arrested by police and immigration officials at the border.
On Twitter, hundreds of Syrian and human rights advocates from around the world have begun a campaign to #FreeRazan, contacting politicians and U.S. embassies for help.
Many tweets mentioned other bloggers who have been arrested or went into hiding in the Arab Spring, including Alaa Abdel Fattah, an Egyptian blogger imprisoned in October, and Ali Abduleman, a Bahraini blogger who was sentenced in absentia and is now in hiding. Blogger @Chanadbh shared the following photo of all three bloggers together in Budapest in 2008:
Jillian York, an online freedom activist who knows Ghazzawi, wrote that the blogger had been concerned she was a target because she was using her real name. York says Ghazzawi’s contingency plan if arrested was to close her online accounts. “Though closing her accounts wouldn't help her, it could protect her friends — that's the kind of person Ghazzawi is,” York wrote.
Ghazzawi is one of the few Syrian activists who blogged under her real name, according to the Guardian.
The U.N. estimates more than 4,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began.