As Syrian Government Preps Crackdown, Lesbian Blogger Kidnapped

As a new threat of a violent government crackdown intensifies in Syria, residents of a northern town said to be its target are fleeing across the border, says the BBC.

The precise situation--and who is retaliating against whom--remains unclear, but the danger to civilians and the continuation of anti-government demonstrations and massive numbers of civilian deaths and imprisonments is immense. The New York Times explains why so many of these intense clashed in Syria have taken place in border towns:

“One thing I’ve heard is that the regime is being particularly hard on border towns because they are petrified of another Benghazi being carved out,” said Amr al-Azm, a Syrian dissident and historian at Shawnee State University in Ohio, referring to the rebel stronghold in Libya. “It’s bandit country, right on the border with Turkey.”

Meanwhile, Amina Arraf, a prominent blogger (and US citizen) who chronicled both her life as an LGBT syrian and the revolution in her home country, at her blog "A Gay Girl in Damascus" has disappeared after her companions saw her being grabbed by armed men at a protest.

Her cousinwrote about it on her blog, explaining that the family did not know who had 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.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at June 7, 2011, 3:53am