Razan Ghazzawi

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Scott Long <scottlong1980@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 2:15 PM
Subject: [Queer Talk] Fwd: SYRIAN FEMINIST, ACTIVIST, AND BLOGGER ARRESTED: STATEMENT
To: queertalk <queertalk@googlegroups.com>

http://paper-bird.net/2011/12/05/freedom-for-razan-ghazzawi-statement-by-human-rights-activists-and-defenders/

PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY

Statement by human rights activists and defenders:

FREEDOM FOR RAZAN GHAZZAWI

 

Statement in Arabic: http://on.fb.me/tW38Rb

 

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 20089, 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.

A list of addresses and phone numbers for Syrian embassies and consulates can be found at http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/syria, or at http://www.cafe-syria.com/syrian-embassies.html.

2) Organize peaceful vigils or demonstrations at Syrian embassies or consulates calling for the release of Razan Ghazzawi and all political prisoners in Syria.

 

Below you will find statements (translated from the Arabic) a) by Syrian bloggers and friends of Razan, and b) by the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression.

 

Additional resources:

Facebook page “Free Razan Ghazzawi” (Arabic): http://on.fb.me/sN7MeQ

Twitter: freerazan#

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)

 

 

A. STATEMENT BY RAZAN’S FELLOW SYRIAN BLOGGERS AND FRIENDS: “FREE RAZAN GHAZZAWI”

 

We hardly had time to breathe a sigh of relief after our friend Hussein Ghreir was set free, [http://razanghazzawi.com/2011/12/01/syrian-blogger-hussein-ghrer-is-free/] before the choke of rage and sadness reminded our hearts once more of our reality: oppression, suppression, and worshiping the silence that we live within. This took place when we learned that our friend Razan Ghazzawi was arrested. Razan is a devoted Syrian blogger. She is a Syrian by her passionate work for the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian refugees in social media in both Arabic and English.  Razan is a Syrian by her commitment to the causes of progress, social justice, and equality. She is a Syrian by standing for all free souls in their struggles for freedom and dignity.

 

Razan’s is a voice that only the enemies of rights, dignity,justice,  and freedom want to silence.

 

We demand that the Syrian authorities set Razan free immediately, along with all prisoners of conscience and dignity. We also hold them responsible for any harm to which she may be exposed. We also demand that the Syrian authorities stop the policy of terrorist oppression that they are practicing against the Syrian people.

 

We ask all those who support justice and freedom to show solidarity with Razan Ghazzawi, with us, and with Syria.

 

We hope that all our friends will help publishing this statement on blogs, pages and social media platforms.#FreeRazan

 

B. STATEMENT OF THE SYRIAN CENTER FOR MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: DETENTION OF THE SYRIAN BLOGGER RAZAN GHAZZAWI.

http://www.scm.bz/?page=show_det&category_id=94&id=793&lang=ar

 

Syrian blogger and activist  Razan Ghazzawi has been arrested this afternoon at the Syrian-Jordanian border, where she was heading to Amman to attend a conference for defenders of media freedom in the Arab world. There, Razan was scheduled to represent our organization.

 

Razan works as a media coordinator in the Center : she is a graduate of the English literature department of Damascus University, and also holds a Master’s degree in comparative  literature  from Lebanon. Razan’s Master’s thesis focused on the short stories of Shamoun Ballas, an author living in Paris and Palestine; she discussed how colonial occupation affects the process of creating an identity in the post-independence modern state. Razan has published many articles on literature .She also started her own blog. Razaniyat, in 2009.

 

Razan was a member of the cultural committee  “A Place for Everyone,” 2005-2007. She also won second prize in a poetry contest at a Lebanese university.

 

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression gravely denounces the detention of our friend, blogger Razan Ghazzawi. Arresting her is another way to restrict and eliminate  civil society in Syria—and a desperate attempt to stifle freedom of expression in Syria.

 

The Center also urges Syrian authorities to stop the systematic crackdown on Syrian bloggers and journalists, and to free Razan unconditionally— along with  all other dissidents detained and arrested in Syria. Syria should respect its international commitments,  based on the international agreements Syria has signed. The Center also warns the Syrian authorities  that they will be held responsible for any physical or psychological harm that the blogger Razan Ghazzawi may endure.

Scott Long

Visiting Fellow, Human Rights Program

Pound Hall 401

Harvard Law School

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138

Tel.: (+1) 718-223-0808 (cell) or (+20) 10 6066 2484 (Egypt till Dec. 8)

E-mail: scottlong1980@gmail.com

 

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