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December 13, 2013

On the Kidnapping of Razan Zeitouneh, Samira Khalil, Wael Hamada, and Nazim Hamadi

A statement by the Violation Documentation Center (VDC) and the Local Development and Small Projects Support Office (LDSPS) regarding the kidnapping of activists Razan Zeitouneh, Samira Khalil, Wael Hamada and Nazim Hamadi

10/12/2013`

Statement

An unknown armed group kidnapped last night 9/10/2013, human rights lawyer and activist Razan Zeitouneh, activist and ex-political prisoner Samira Khalil, activist and Razan’s spouse Wael Hamada, and the lawyer and poet Nazim Hamadi from the office of the VDC and LDSPS in Douma, Damascus suburbs.

Besides being an icon of the Syrian revolution, Razan cofounded the Local Coordination Committees in Syria (LCC) and the Violation Documentation Center (VDC), which documents all human rights violations in Syria. She co-founded the local development and small projects support office (LDSPS) as well which aims to help the people in Syria generally, and in Eastern Ghouta more specifically, to provide basic needs and essential services and support to medical and development centers. Her and her colleagues work is very well recognized by the inhabitants in Ghouta.

Her kidnapping and the kidnapping of her colleagues indicates yet again the endeavor of some to undermine any form of civil action to help Syrians in the liberated areas to rule and provide for themselves.

We, at the VDC and LDSPS, condemn with the strongest words this kidnapping and ask for the immediate release of Razan, Samira, Wael and Nazim without any conditions.

We also hold all armed groups operating in the area accountable for the safety and safeguard of the Ghouta inhabitants and Razan and her colleagues. We hold them accountable as well for the safe release of Razan and her colleagues and their safe return to their homes. Such armed groups should ensure that such kidnapping in never repeated again in the future in the area they control.

The Dignity and Freedom revolution is undergoing one of its most critical moments now and we hope that it will be able to avoid this trap set from its enemies to undermine its credibility and stray its path.

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Syrian Hamster @Syrian Comment

In a typical example of chewing ones words without even realizing that, we find a character, who for nearly three years has made a life of denying anything secular in the great Syrian revolution. From the start, this character and a cohort of regime propagandists brandished a witch’s list of prepackaged shrieks “islamist, alqaida, arourri, salafi” leveled at everyone who dared support this revolution. All of a sudden, the hypocrite is now concerned for the safety of non-existing “secular” rebels

“Secular” rebels activists and journalists are not safe anymore in rebels controlled areas. They are the object of threats and kidnapping from the Islamists who are taking over the areas.

Never realizing that by saying so, the deceiptful character is admitting that these areas, considered liberated, were not under islamists control, otherwise, why would they “take the areas over”. They must have displaced some other force, that was not islamists, but has always been described as alqaida offshoot, islamists, salafis, and so on.

This must also be considered along with the fact that those “qualified with double quote” “secular” rebels, who were kidnapped were among the earliest to revolt, form coordination committees, and start some of the most creative peaceful and civil action campaigns against the hypocrite’s masters.

This is not a coincidence and one must be forced to conclude that this hypocrite, or better yet, conspirator, is one of those responsible for the massacres that have murdered real secular Syrians  like Omar Aziz in torture dungeon.

Lack of any qualms about the torture, and active attempts to whitewash massacres has been the hallmark of the work of ugly characters one encounters here on this blog. Humanity will be baffled at their active role in supporting each and every murder and in whitewashing one of the greatest tragedies of modern ages.

Words like contempt and disgust will fall short in describing how a real human being should feel when the lies, deceptions, and active participation in the regime supporting gang here on SC in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Syrians.

The tyrant will fall, but what will live in infamy, is  the role of the regime gang on this blog in inciting and applauding the current wave of sectarian killing by the thugs, whether from the regime’s forces, the hezbulla drugged fanatics, or the lowest of the low of Iraqi society, as well as by those supporting them as a Trojan Horse, planted in liberated areas to return the rule of fear, and never really challenged by the regime or its sectarian friends. All so that a backward, stone-age foreign occupation can set its dark presence on the lives of Syrians and the region.

Flip flopping on their own declared principles, the masters of this group of thoughtless robotic propagandists has already given them the unethical code of conduct that provides mechanistic ways of mental gymnastics to navigate their way. The first chapter of it is all about double-speak, which brings us back to the non-existing, yet feared for “seculars” who started this revolution.

You have murdered people who are far far far better than you could ever dream of becoming. But that is the tragedy of life, a worthless germ like the fool you prop can cause an epidemic that kills millions. It goes without saying that while the germ does it thoughtlessly, you do it deliberately in in that you have deserved the curses of millions.

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  December 11th, 2013, 2:19 pm

  220. SYRIAN HAMSTER   said:

 

This is why He is a well known writer and I am a mere hamster. Zakaria Tamer says in few words what will take me a book to say:

Zakaria Tamer

الأمر المهمل

أمر الله عباده المؤمنين بالتخلص من كل الطغاة حتى تستحق الحياة أن تعاش، ولكن ثمة خبثاء تظاهروا بالصمم، واستمروا في خدمة الطغاة، وحاربوا تحت راياتهم، بعضهم هلك، وبعضهم الآخر سيهلك، ولا نجاة له من الهلاك

An Interview with a Journalist Who Was Tortured for Investigating Hezbollah

Rami, pictured middle right

Rami Aysha was investigating Hezbollah’s curious practice of selling arms to the Syrian rebels – despite sending fighters to aid the side of Assad – when he was kidnapped at gunpoint. After being held, beaten and interrogated by Hezbollah, he was handed over to the Lebanese authorities, who released him on bail on trumped up charges of arms smuggling. Rami was tried in absentia as he was out of the country at the time of sentencing. He was also sentenced by a military court, despite being a civilian. So when the judge threw out his defence that he was a journalist investigating a story, he didn’t feel that justice had been served all that well.

Neither did Reporters Without Borders, who have called for the withdrawal of all proceedings against Aysha and have described his arrest as “unacceptable” and stated that “it is crucial that the Lebanese judicial authorities distinguish between journalistic investigation and illicit trafficking”. Lest you doubt his journalistic credentials, Aysha runs TIME Magazine‘s Lebanese bureau and has worked with many major foreign news organisations throughout the Middle East, including VICE.

Rami returned to Beirut yesterday. He went to court and his sentence was reduced from six months to two weeks. The fact that he was already locked up for over two weeks means that he should be released straight away, sources told Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper. He is now taking his case to the supreme court in order to be declared innocent. We caught up with him for a chat.

Rami, chilling out

VICE: Hey Rami, can you tell us how this whole situation started?
Rami:
On the 30th of August I was doing a report about arms dealing and arms trafficking in Lebanon when I was kidnapped by Hezbollah and tortured for three hours. The torture continued after I was handed to Lebanese intelligence, who kept me without water, food and sleep for three days. A week after my arrest I saw the military judge who issued an arrest warrant against me and I stayed in prison for one month. After that, I was released on bail and since then I have been attending the hearings.

What did you find out that was so important that Hezbollah felt it necessary to kidnap you?
Well, I discovered that due to the corruption of Hezbollah and the overloading of their their warehouses with weapons, they are selling them to the Syrian opposition. They had no other option to stop such a report because I was so close to providing evidence to the whole world that Hezbollah is corrupt and they are sending their poison to destroy the whole region and instigate the fighting in Syria.

So Hezbollah are fighting with Assad but arming the rebels. Why do you think they are doing this?
As I said before, due to the huge stocks of weapons in their warehouses some of their commanders are selling weapons to make money out of it. It is purely a business thing. I wanted to use my report to show that Hezbollah is not part of the resistance any more, it is a militia causing a lot of chaos in the region. Add to this most of the weapons sold in Lebanon are actually coming from these warehouses, which I was so close to visiting and filming.

What happened to you while you were in captivity?
I was kidnapped in the middle of the street, in front of eyewitnesses and driven to one of Hezbollah’s secret prisons. They tried to make me confess that I was purchasing arms but I insisted I was reporting. My camera which was smashed over my head by Hezbollah members; they even asked me which hand I write with and when I answered left-handed, they started hammering it with a gun. I was badly tortured and badly beaten, I had a broken nose, fingers, ribs and bruises all over my body. I was bleeding for three hours and screaming from the pain. I even passed out twice during my torture.

They knew that you were a just a journalist doing your job, right?
They knew because I identified myself as a journalist and said that I was doing a report. But they didn’t care. They just kept torturing me. They even told me several times that they promised to make me stop writing till the “end of days”.

Rami, chilling out again

After this they handed you to the authorities, what was their behaviour like?
Even during my interrogation by the Lebanese intelligence they were more focused on who I met, what reports I was working on – it was more about the nature of my job. Even the judge told me that if I solved my problems with Hezbollah he would release me. This shows how Hezbollah controls the judiciary system and especially the military tribunals in Lebanon. During my interrogation, I urged the judge to extend his investigation and try to arrest those who kidnapped me but he refused.

Do you think that in this instance the authorities are working for Hezbollah?
Sure. It’s not a secret that Hezbollah controls the army, intelligence and military tribunals and they can fabricate any story they want against you. You can never have a fair trial if your opponent is Hezbollah.

Have any charges been brought against the people involved in the arms smuggling?
For the dealers, no, because it directly involves Hezbollah but for the buyers, yes they are convicted.

So despite being able to provide evidence against Hezbollah nothing has happened to any of the members involved?
Nothing has happened to them and no one punished those who kidnapped and tortured me.

What evidence was presented against you?
I challenge them to show one piece of evidence against me. I challenge them to extend the investigation. What makes you feel sorry for Lebanon is that the criminal becomes a hero and the victim becomes a criminal. I am now convicted with the failed attempt of arms purchasing. My only weapon that night was my camera.

What do you think this says about press freedom in Lebanon?
There is no press freedom in Lebanon and freedom of speech has dropped to a dangerous level. We are turning into a real dictatorship. Journalists are facing their worst moment in the history of Lebanon and freedom of speech has disappeared.

But didn’t your sentence get reduced?
There’s no difference between two weeks and six months for me because being judged as guilty threatens my career as a journalist. My annual press credentials are needed to work as an official journalist – especially due to the nature of the topics I cover, they are very sensitive. Today, we take my case to the supreme court hoping to get innocence because I believe I was prosecuted for political reasons. I will fight for justice and innocence until the very end.

Thanks Rami. Good luck.

Follow Rami on Twitter: @ramiaysha

Follow Oz on Twitter: @OzKaterji

source

In a Syrian refugee camp

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