Four activists, among them internationally acclaimed non-violent activist Razan Zaitouneh, from Syria’s Violations Documentation Center (VDC) were kidnapped by unidentified masked gunmen from the center’s Douma office on the outskirts of Damascus. Zaitouneh, along with her team made up of Nazem al-Hamadi, Sameera Alkhalil and Wael Hamadah, were abducted on December 9, with no news of their whereabouts, sparking an international outcry. Following their abduction, Douma’s local committee issued a statement condemning the act, adding that the ransacking of the VDC office too was shameful and likened it to the work of Assad’s regime. On their behalf, Syria’s Local Coordinators Committee, founded by Zaitouneh, demanded the release of all four activists and asked all human rights advocates to join the LCC’s campaign. Twitter users, too, began mobilizing a virtual campaign, and the United States-based Syrian activist Rafif Jouejati marked their abduction as an indicator of humanity’s death.
Zaitouneh’s work along with her abducted colleagues is considered essential not only to the revolution but also Syria’s future. Their abduction harms every hopeful and positive aspect in today’s misshaped Syria.