A week ago human rights lawyer and activist Razan Zaitouneh was abducted together with three of the closest collegues from their office in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, close to Damascus. Today, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, demanded her immediate and unconditioned release. In 2011 Razan Zaitouneh was awarded the EU Parliament’s Sakharow Prize for Freedom of Thought. In the following we document the statement of Catherine Ashton on the kidnapping.
The High Representative has learned with great concern about the abduction on 11 December of four human rights activists including Razan Zeitouneh from the Damascus suburb of Douma.
Razan Zeitouneh, the winner of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize, is a courageous Syrian human rights activist instrumental in organising civil so ciety structures, Local Coordination Committees and the documentation centre that monitors the atrocities committed inside Syria. The High Representative finds it unacceptable that peaceful activists, journalists and other members of civil society committed to improving Syria’s future are targeted.
The High Representative calls for the immediate and unconditional release of detained human rights activists and their safe return to their communities. She also calls for the release of all other peaceful civilian and religious figures abducted in Syria.