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Blogger Razan Ghazzawi
Blogger Razan Ghazzawi

Syrian Authorities released Blogger Razan Ghazawi

(Omar al-Shaar | Dp-news)

DAMASCUS- Syrian Centre for Media and Free Expression says Razan Ghazzawi, a Syrian-American blogger, was released from detention on bail of $300 (SYP 15000).

Syrian authorities have released a US-born blogger who was arrested at the border while on her way to attend a conference in Jordan.

Syria has released Syrian-American blogger Razan Ghazzawi on bail two weeks after her arrest as she was heading to Jordan to attend a conference on press freedoms, a media rights group said on Monday.

"Razan Ghazzawi was released from detention at 10:30pm (2030 GMT) Sunday on bail of 15,000 Syrian pounds (around $300)," the Syrian Centre for Media and Free Expression said on its website.



The Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, where she worked, said in a statement that Ghazzawi was freed on Sunday night on bail. It said that she would still stand trial at a later, unspecified date.

Syrian authorities arrested Razan Ghazzawi, a campaigner for press freedom, at the border with Jordan on 4 December as she headed to Amman to take part in a workshop on press freedom in the Arab world. Authorities charged Ghazzawi last week with fomenting sectarian strife and spreading false information through a secret organization; charges punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

She was referred to court and charged on three counts of "establishing an organisation that aims to change the social and economic status of the state," weakening national sentiment, and stirring racial and religious dissent, according to the centre.

In its statement on Monday, the media centre urged the authorities to drop the charges against Ghazzawi and any court proceedings.

Razan Ghazzawi, who was born in Miami, Florida, is among dozens of Syrian bloggers and activists who have been arrested in during the nine-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

She has been blogging on her Razaniayat website since 2009 and has expressed strong criticism of the Syrian regime, which has faced unprecedented pro-democracy protests since mid-March.

Razan Ghazzawi also used to raise awareness about detainees, write about them and support them. She has now become one of them.

Razan Ghazzawi, 31, is employed as a media officer at the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, which is now rallying to reduce the sentence. She is a tireless political advocate and actively worked to free dissidents from Syrian jails; we suggest you check out her blog if you aren’t already familiar with her work, or view her Arab Spring Flickr page here.

Ghazzawi works for the centre and, if tried and found guilty, could face three to 15 years in jail.

The United Nations estimates that more than 5,000 people have been killed in the regime's crackdown. As for Syria`s regime; it says it is battling "armed terrorist" groups.

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