Razan Zeitouneh was Abducted by Zahran Aloush, leader of the Islamic Militia….and upon him lies her fate.
13/12/2015 By Malek Abo Kheer
A few days ago I was talking to Razan through email, she asked me to write an article about the events in Al Raqah, I started to discuss the topic with her but suddenly felt something very strange, I felt that my heart had stopped abruptly and I did not understand this sensation, looking at her email I felt terrified as it was dim and did not spark with light.
I wanted to convince my self that nothing had happened and that she was alright, the surprise came the next morning when her friends in Doma said that she and her friends have disappeared, she had disappeared, but how can someone disappear like that without ever being seen! and she was not alone, they were four people.
What injustice is this? I was overcome with rage, my family and I felt as if someone had stabbed us sharply in the center of our hearts. How could this happen??? we entrusted them with our daughter and we stayed silent on her decision thinking that she had gone to a safe place that perhaps represents her possible freedom, the Islamic militia has a strong presence in this liberated territory, it is the strongest force there and nothing happens without their knowing, especially considering that Razan has gotten three consecutive threats, we knew very well that the threats came from the Islamic militia. But we did not declare that to protect the reputation of the revolution first, and for the safety of the four abducted.
This was the tale of Reem Zeitouneh, the sister of Razan, told to I Am A Human Story describing the early moments of the kidnapping, and the truth of what happened, she continues saying: “The kidnapping happened at night, on the 9th of December, 2013. It was at around 11 at night, when a group of armed masked men barged in the Beauru of documenting violations, which is located in Doma, the countryside of Damascus. The armed men raised their weapons and began to beat them and call them by the most vile words and utterances. Of the abducted, Wael and Nadhem tried to calm the armed men down as Samira let out piercing screams. The armed men pushed them against the wall and put bags on their heads and lead them out of the building, but no one saw or heard any of that… (The events have been described by one of the witnesses during a conversation with one of the four abducted; this conversation went on until all the mobiles were confiscated by the abductors). The main suspect was Zahran Aloush due to our multiple attempts of contacting him and asking him about our daughter, and his constant refusal to respond and answer. After that, a few witnesses began to come forward; we also found some evidence after a year long personal investigation. Today, after two whole years, we have a file full of evidence. Mr. Yaseen has published a good amount, and the rest remains in our files till we find the right time to file them to the court of justice; we have found a sizeable collection of evidence and a collection of witnesses who are willing to testify in the case of the existence of a court of law. We have hope in Allah, the only one who is capable of giving hope to us, without our faith in his ability we would never be able to bare our situation, especially considering that this crime was committed by those who were once a part of the revolution and the opposition, and not of the enemy whom we know very well, for he declares his crimes out and on the open.
Reem says that one of the reasons which drove the Islamic militia to abduct Razan is “Razan’s strength exists in her being daring, and her challenging of every injustice and refusal of every wrong which could be perceived as threatening, Razan has also started a couple of growing projects to help women stand in the face of hunger and humiliation, she also started a few charitable projects as well as her work in communicating the daily struggle to the media by way of articles, judicial reports and documentation of the crimes of every group. She was working on a project before she was abducted which seemed to give financial aid to the families of the freedom fighters, on the condition that her organization would not interfere in sectarian or political issues. This organization aimed to give aid to the families of the fighters equally disregarding their various backgrounds. This project was not completed due to her abduction, all of this shows the importance of Razan’s existence in Gaottah and how threatening her projects are which can undermine oppression and totalitarian power of the leader on his military followers.”
As for the pressure that was put on Zahran Alloush, the leader of the Islamic militia, Reem says “Since the abduction we have contacted everyone, from different parties as well as the friends and clergy men close to Zahran, or even the financial supporters of the work of the Islamic militia. We also held out campaigns to demand the release of the four abducted as well as other things. Buy they always have a ready answer “We had nothing to do with this and we don’t know whose behind it” simply..without any attempt to open an investigation or to follow up or answer our family’s official complaint in which we demand for a clarification on his position on the abduction, but to this day he still denies. We continue to pressure them through Saudi Arabia and Qatar to release Razan, especially considering the face that Saudi Arabia and Qatar fund the Islamic militia. Furthermore, Qatar has undergone a few agreements to release those abducted in the past…of course, Razan is not considered a regular woman, she represents the face of peaceful revolution due to her past of resistance against oppression and injustice, and her honest work for demanding the rights of the families of the imprisoned as well as demanding the release of political prisoners and prisoners of illegal speech years before the revolution…in addition to many humanitarian causes which ended in revolt which she has worked on tirelessly. She has given the best years of her life, and has sacrifices much more than one can do, she has given her life to a cause she believed in and everyone knew that, and has gotten nothing in return. As Zahran gets involved in this, he surely does not know how important someone like razan is in the field of revolution, he cannot escape the shame, staying in denial is easy, especially considering how Zahran hopes to take leadership when the regime falls, and a simple confession would end all his hopes”
Reem then speaks of the reasons behind Razan’s abduction which came during the abduction of Pope Paulo and a chain of disappearances of important figures in the revolution “The truth is it is exactly as it seems, the first step in ending any peaceful motion is to remove any important figure or advocate, and implanting weapons and enforcing it as an alternative to peace to instill concepts of violence and start civil war, and to create an image of barbaric terrorism. Those were the most important steps which the regime aimed to take and it has succeeded tremendously, we also cannot deny that some of these steps have been taken by the opposing armed fronts which follow external agendas and receive external funding which give way for such external forces to exert their power inside Syria. If the revolution had maintained it’s civil approach and had not taken up arms and other demands which strayed away from the original spirit of the revolution, we would not have gotten to the full blown war from multiple countries which try to insure their interests on the expense of the blood of our children”
As for the talk of Zahran Alloush trying to escape the accusations of abduction of Razan, Reem comments: “No, never…that’s a work of the imagination, someone like Zahran can never think that way, but he truly knows that he is now tied to this heinous deed and still he does not care, in fact in a media interview he was asked about razor and dogged the question by answering it with anywhere question saying “why only razor? Why don’t you ask about the other Muslim women taken by the regime?”. I wanted to answer him and here I am answering him today that Razan her self, use to document the names of all the imprisoned, abducted and martyred women; she represents them all. If she was still working today, and not in her cell, she would have memorized the names of our girls which we are continuously and increasingly proud of. As for the national Coalition and their role in freeing Razan, Reem concludes by saying “ The truth is that the national coalition have no direct power on any party, they do not even have any political or civil power, it is not acknowledged by any party, for that we do not report to them in this case”