Razan Zaitouneh

Razan Zaitouneh
رزان زيتونة
Born (1977-04-29) April 29, 1977
Occupation Human rights lawyer

Razan Zaitouneh (Zeitunah) Arabic: رزان زيتونة; born 29 April 1977) is a Syrian human rights lawyer and civil society activist. Actively involved in the Syrian uprising, she went into hiding after being accused by the government of being a foreign agent[1] and her husband was arrested.[2] Zaitouneh has documented human rights in Syria for the Local Coordination Committees of Syria.[3]

She graduated from law school in 1999 and in 2001 started her work as lawyer. She has been a member of the team of lawyers for defense of political prisoners since 2001. In the same year, Razan was one of the founders of the Human Rights Association in Syria (HRAS). In 2005, Razan Zaitouneh established SHRIL (the Syrian Human Rights Information Link), through which she continues to report about human rights violations in Syria. Since 2005, Razan Zaitouneh is also an active member of the Committee to Support Families of Political Prisoners in Syria.

On 27 October 2011, she was awarded the 2011 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of thought, jointly with four other Arabs.[4] She was previously awarded the Anna Politkovskaya Award by Reach All Women in War.[5] In 2013 Razan Zaitouneh was granted the International Women of Courage Award.[6]

In December 2013, pro-opposition websites reported that Zaitouneh was kidnapped along with her husband, Wael Hamadeh, and two colleagues, Samira Khalil and Nazem Hammadi, in the opposition-held town of Douma to the north of Damascus.[7][8][9] As of December 2015, their whereabouts were still unknown and the identity of the kidnappers uncertain, although it was suspected that the Islamist Salafi rebel group Army of Islam was responsible.[10]



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