Sunday, June 12, 2011
Amina Abdallah Arraf: A Gay Girl in Damascus- not the first human rights hoax
This article of mine appears in The First Post.
Neil Clark: The case that fooled human rights activists worldwide - not for the first time
It's the story that's had western bloggers, journalists and human rights crusaders up in arms. When Amina Abdalla Arraf, a US/Syrian lesbian blogger and staunch critic of President Assad, was kidnapped by the Syrian authorities for daring to express her opinions, more than 14,000 people rushed to join a Facebook group to campaign for her release.
Reporters Without Borders issued a press release condemning the abduction. In a short space of time, Amina became the poster girl for the anti-Assad protests sweeping across Syria.
"We ask all those who care about Amina to send this message to the Syrian embassy in your country to show the regime that the world is very much aware of Amina's case and will not let the Syrian regime get away with any harm that might come to her," declared the 'Free Amina Abdalla' Facebook site.
It's unlikely, however, that any harm will come to Amina. That's because she doesn't appear to exist.
You can read the whole article here.
UPDATE: The hoax has been confirmed. The 'Gay Girl in Damascus' was actually a Straight Married American Man in Scotland. More here and here