“Note to intelligence and security forces: If you don’t like what I’m saying and you want to arrest me, send me a message and I’ll give you my full address so we can finish this according to your way.”
Those were the last words written by prominent Syrian blogger Hussein Ghrer in a post on his blog dated July 10, 2011.
Activists have now launched a campaign on Facebook demanding authorities disclose information on Ghrer’s whereabouts after he went missing earlier this week. The blogger reportedly left his home in Damascus on Monday and never returned.
“We demand the immediate disclosure of the fate of our friend and fellow blogger Hussein Ghrer and the immediate release of all prisoners of conscience, since their detention is against the law and universal human rights. We also demand the end of persecution against freedom of speech, because blind force, no matter how strong it is, will stay blind, and will stumble until it falls for good,” the campaign to free Ghrer said in a statement posted online.
The 30-year-old blogger is said to be married with two children. According to activists, he’s participated in several Palestinian solidarity campaigns and blogged about the July 2006 War in Lebanon.
Ghrer’s last post focused on the arrest of Syrian blogger Anas Maarawi, who has since been released.
“As bloggers, we have nothing but our writing to express a very little part of what hurts us so much. Our hearts ache in front of this monster that´s called corruption, protected by the force of security law, which is above any other law in this country,” he wrote.
“Silence doesn´t serve us after today. We don´t want a country where we get imprisoned for uttering a word. We want a country that embraces and welcomes words.”
Follow the hashtag #FreeHussein on Twitter.