Razan Zaitouneh


Abducted by members of the armed groups, on 9 December 2013, in the Damascus suburb of Douma

Her fate and whereabouts remain unknown

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 Wael al-Hamada and two colleagues (Samira Khalil and Nazem Hamadi) 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 centers in areas like Eastern Ghouta.