One Year Since Abduction of “Douma 4”

Jen Psaki,

Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

December 10, 2014

Yesterday marked one full year since unknown armed groups abducted and kidnapped Syrian human rights activist Razan Zaitouneh, her husband, Wael Hamada, and her two colleagues, Samira Al-Khalil and Nazem Hamadi, in Douma, Syria. As the founder of the Violations Documentation Center, Razan played a critical role in documenting human rights violations and calling for peace.

The whereabouts of these activists, referred to by some as the “Douma 4,” are still unknown. We call for their immediate and unconditional release.

Razan, like so many Syrians who took to the streets over three years ago to demand freedom and dignity, called for respect for human rights, stopping all torture, and a peaceful end to the conflict. Despite extraordinary risks, courageous Syrians continue their pursuit of peace, justice, and fundamental freedoms. Every day in Syria, human rights defenders document abuses and violations committed by both the Assad regime and violent extremists such as ISIL. We admire and support these brave Syrians’ efforts and reiterate our call for those responsible for their abduction, as well as those responsible for the multitude of other abuses and violations of human rights, to be held accountable.