“The road ahead is still long and riddled with obstacles and mines. The end is still blocked, and what lies beyond it remains unknown – what lies beyond the siege, the revolution, and the war. It is a dream binding us all, as though we were one long human chain carrying pickaxes and moving slowly but steadily down that road”.
Razan Zaitouneh is a Syrian human rights defender and writer.
In 2011, she received the Anna Politkovskaya prize and the European Parliament’s Sakhorov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Recently, she was the recipient of the 2013 International Women of Courage Award.
On 9 December 2013, she was -along with her husband and two colleagues- abducted by masked armed men and taken to unknown whereabouts.They were kidnapped from the office for the Violations Documentation Center (VDC) and the Local Development and Small Projects Support (LDSPS) in the Damascus suburb of Douma, part of Eastern Ghouta, an area under the control of a number of armed groups that is being besieged by government forces. The VDC is an independent non-governmental organization that has been mainly documenting human rights abuses committed by the Syrian government in the context of the conflict. The LDSPS provides humanitarian assistance, particularly to medical centres in areas like Eastern Ghouta.
Her current fate and whereabouts are unknown.
Source: FIDH-OMCT in the framework of their joint programme the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
More information on this case
“Petra Kelly prize awarded to four abducted human rights defenders“, 17 December 2014
“No word on four abducted activists: A year on, no information on Duma four“, 9 December 2014