Two Years Since the Abduction of the "Douma 4"

Press Statement
John Kirby
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 9, 2015

Two years ago today, unknown assailants abducted renowned Syrian human rights and civil society leader Razan Zaitouneh, her husband, Wael Hamada, and her two colleagues, Samira Al-Khalil and Nazem Hamadi, in Douma, Syria.

As a passionate Syrian leader and one of the founders of the Violations Documentation Center and Local Coordinating Committees, Razan played a critical role in documenting human rights violations and risked her life to advocate on behalf of political prisoners.

The whereabouts of Razan and her colleagues, known as the “Douma 4,” remain unknown. We call for their immediate and unconditional release and urge anyone with information about them to come forward to help ensure the safe return of these brave human rights defenders.

As we mark International Human Rights Day tomorrow, we recognize Razan and the thousands of Syrian political prisoners and human rights activists who have defied brutality and oppression and fought for a democratic and pluralistic future. We stand with these courageous Syrians and reiterate our call that those responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses in Syria must be held accountable.