Razen Zaitouneh



Razan Zaitouneh, Human Rights Lawyer and non-violent activist from Syria reported missing on December 9, 2013 from Douma, a suburb of Damascus. She and her husband Nazem al-Hamadi, along with co-workers Sameera Alkhalil and Wael Hamadah were taken in the cover of darkness by masked gunmen. The forced disappearance happened shortly after she and her team had completed a video plea for the release of two Spanish journalist taken in September of 2013. The plea was made after negotiations for release had failed for journalist Javier Espinosa, a reporter and bureau chief for El Mundo newspaper, and Ricardo Garcia Vilanova his photographer. They were suspected to have been taken by an armed fraction inside of Syria at a checkpoint near Tal Abyad. 

Razan an accomplished and dedicated lawyer started after graduation working with human rights issues. She became a member of the Defense of Political Prisoners in 2001, and later helped found the Human Rights Association in Syria (HRAS). In 2005 she and a small group created the Syrian Human Rights Information Link (SHRIL), then joined forces with the Committee to Support Families of Political Prisoners in Syria.  Finally in 2011 she started the Volatilization Documentation Center for Syria (VDC) inside of Syria after the revolution started. For a informative peek into the human rights in Syria I suggest reading Human Rights Defenders1 from The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

1776 Razen has become a voice for prisoners of conscience and a crusader for human rights, she is known inside and outside of Syria.  In 2011 she was awarded Sakharov Prize freedom of thought2 by the European Parliament, along with the Anna Politkovskaya3 Award by Reach All Women in War (RAW WAR) the award recognizes “a woman human rights defender from a conflict zone in the world who, like Anna, stands up for the victims of this conflict, often at great personal risk”, and in 2013 she was given the prestigious International Women of Courage Award given by the Secretary of US State’s Department.

See the video plea for the release of two Spanish journalist taken in September of 2013. 






1Human Rights Defenders, http://www.fidh.org/en/north-africa-middle-east/syria/?id_mot=27

2 Sakharov Prize freedom of though, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakharov_Prize