Daily Archives: 10/12/2020
Civil Society Organizations Demand the Immediate Disclosure of the Fate of Human Rights Activist Razan Zaitouneh and Her Colleagues and Accountability for the Kidnappers
Today completes seven years since the disappearance of the four activists. On December 9, 2013, the joint office of the Violations Documentation Center (VDC) in Syria, the office of the Local Development and Small-Projects Support (LDSPS), and that of the Rising for Freedom magazine in the city of Douma in the countryside of Damascus were attacked by an armed group that kidnapped activists Razan ZAITOUNEH, Wael HAMADA, Samira ALKHALIL, and Nazim HAMMADI. Despite the fact that all the military factions left the area after the forces of the Syrian regime took control of it, the fate of our colleagues remains unknown to this day.
At a time when the fruits of their labor are being revealed through the documentation of violations and crimes committed, the collection of testimonies, pictures, and data about the chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta in 2013, and the filing of judicial complaints against the perpetrators of these crimes, in addition to the ongoing work in supporting local communities and free civil work in areas outside the control of the Syrian regime, the fate of these activists remains unknown. This is true despite all efforts made by families and friends of the kidnapped to reveal their fate, including communication with many parties and a legal complaint against ‘Jaysh al-Islam’, the main suspect in the kidnapping incident.
Over the past seven years, no real efforts have been made by the countries concerned in the Syrian issue to reveal their fate. Some of them have a kind of guardianship over the military factions and in turn have the ability to put great pressure on them. However, the efforts of politicians, diplomats and representatives of these countries were limited to statements and condemnations that did not help in revealing the fate of the kidnapped.
China is confining human rights activists and their relatives at home on the United Nations’ Human Rights Day on Thursday.
Reports say officials went to the home of Wang Quanzhang in Beijing on Wednesday morning to announce the restriction. Wang had worked as human rights lawyer and been in prison until April.
Reports also say official visited Yu Wensheng’s home in Beijing on Wednesday and conveyed the restriction order to his wife. Yu was given a four-year prison term in June.
Wang and Yu were detained as they worked as human rights lawyers.
The authorities apparently want to prevent them and their family from voicing criticism of the government on Human Rights Day.