Razan Zaitouneh

Razan Zaitouneh

By peh4, 28 April 2014

A writer and human rights lawyer who founded the Violations Documentation Centre in Syria (VDC) in 2011, Razan Zaitouneh was kidnapped on 9 December 2013 along with her husband and two VDC colleagues in the Damascus suburb where they were hiding from government forces. It is not known for sure who kidnapped them, but some sources said they were members of the Salafi group Jaysh Al-Islam. Awarded many prizes including the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2011 and the International Women of Courage Award in 2013, Zaitouneh knew she was under threat from all sides. In a video message recorded five days before her disappearance, she said: “I salute the thousands of men and women who work silently at the grass roots to achieve their dream of freedom and justice.”