BEIRUT

Middle East

Prominent Syria opposition activist kidnapped

An undated file photo of Syrian lawyer Razan Zeitouneh. REUTERS/Handout

BEIRUT: Prominent Syrian human rights lawyer and opposition activist Razan Zeitouneh has been kidnapped in Damascus, opposition activists have told The Daily Star.

Zeitouneh heads the Violations and Documentation Center (VDC) organization and, as one of the founding members of the Local Coordination Committees, has been a leading figure of the opposition movement in Syria since the uprising in the country began in March 2011.

She was kidnapped in the suburb of Douma, in the Damascus countryside Tuesday morning, a VDC activist reported.

Zeitouneh’s husband, Wael Hamada, who had previously spent over a year in government detention for opposition activism, and several of other VDC colleagues including at least two women, were also kidnapped, the activist said.

The activists were understood to have been kidnapped from their offices in Douma. VDC activists said they believed Islamist rebels operating in Douma were responsible.

Zeitouneh was forced into hiding in 2011 as a result of her anti-government activism. More recently, her colleagues said she had been threatened by Islamist groups for her secular values.

 

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