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Syria: Blogger Razan Ghazzawi is FREE!

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

UPDATE: RAZAN GHAZZAWI IS FREE!

Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi has been freed after spending 15 days in a Syrian prison. Her sister just announced her release on Twitter.

@NadineGhazzawi: t's raining Razans… hallelujah :)))))))) <3 It's official, sis is out! hopefully the same goes to all arrested sisters and brothers.

*****

BREAKING NEWS:

Nadine Ghazzawi, Razan's sister just tweeted:

@NadineGhazzawi: #FreeRazan #Syria Family is on their way to bring my sister home :))))

*****

The buzz is growing louder online that Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi, arrested on the Syrian-Jordanian border while on her way to a workshop on press freedom in the Arab world in Amman on December 4, 2011, will be released.

Eight days after her arrest, Ghazzawi was charged with a list of crimes – refuted by the blogging community and described as a farce.

Among her accusations were “establishing an organization that aims to change the social and economical entity of the state” and “weakening the national sentiment, and trying to ignite sectarian strife,” reported the Lebanese Daily Star at the time.

On her Free Razan page on Facebook, supporters made the announcement that Ghazzawi would be freed, citing Syrian lawyer and human rights activist Razan Zaitouneh. The post does not say when Ghazzawi is expected to be freed.

The Free Razan poster

The Free Razan poster many supporters replaced their Facebook and Twitter avatars with, calling for the release of Razan Ghazzawi

Nadine Ghazzawi, Razan's sister, responds to the news on the above Facebook post saying:

I will keep u all posted, don't worry I won't keep this to myself :)

And she clarifies on Twitter:

@NadineGhazzawi: #FreeRazan #Syria Razan is not released yet, we are still waiting to be official, that's why I didn't post anything yet.

Online, netizens and supporters remain hopeful yet skeptic. Mohja Khaf tweets:

@ProfKhaf: RazanZ reports that #FreeRazan Ghazzawi's release on bail has been approved.Approved,not accomplished yet. ‘

Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas says [ar]:

انباء عن الافراج عن المدونة السورية رزان غزاوي بكفالة في دمشق
@waelabbas: News circulating on the release of Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi on bail in Damascus

While Syrian Alaa Khangar tweets [ar]:

القاضي يوافق على إخلاء سبيل الصحفية والمدونة رزان غزاوي ” نقلاً عن هيام جميل ” ‎
@alkh81: The judge agrees to release journalist and blogger Razan Ghazzawi, according to Heyam Jameel

Dima Khatib sums up all our confusion:

@Dima_Khatib: I keep reading about the release of @RedRazan but I have no real source. Just tweets. Any sources out there? #FreeRazan

In addition to blogging, Ghazzawi is an avid Twitter user, who has contributed to both Global Voices Online and Global Voices Advocacy. She is also one of the few bloggers in Syria who writes under her real name, advocating for the rights of bloggers and activists arrested by the Syrian regime, as well as the rights of gays and minorities.

For more reactions and updates, check the Free Razan Facebook page or the Twitter hash tag #FreeRazan.

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

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