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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58 Comments

  1. Dear umm nuwâs,
    You are right. The press release does not mentioned that. Samira Khalil is the Yasin Haj Saleh. wife. I have refrained from commenting that in respect for Yasin’s private thoughts and pain.

    All four activists were among the early to organize the local coordination committees. Razan has also been an active civil rights lawyer, defending many islamists before the revolution against the regime’s illegal practices and incarceration and meaningless charges.

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  2. Would Iran dump Bashar?
    With Iran troops in Syria, and Iraq Militia counting over 15000, and Hizbullah troops in Syria counting over 10,000, they became the power in Syria, Iran is Shiaa, Assad is Alawi,they are at odd togather,As week as Assad army is, The Shiaa forces can easily take over,if the war in Syria comes to an end why would they keep him? they would not need him anymore, they are over 40,000, his army would be very week,and they can always support their forces by more troops from Iraq,

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  3. Majed
    Iran will most likely dump Assad. He has become a liability and as you mentioned, Iran and Hizbullah forces have taken over the fight.

    There is no longer a Syrian army. As for the possibility of more troops from Iraq. I think there is always a limit to how much casualties Iraqies can tolerate. Remember that Alqaida operations in Iraq have increased and they have now come to coordinate multiple simultaneous attacks on Shia areas. There will be a point when the Iraqi Shia will stop sending their children to Syria and ask them to protect them at home. However, these attacks could be in fact coordinated with the regional malfeasance emanating from Iran, with the aim of further inciting Iraqi Shia against sunnis in general.

    The regime and its forces have chosen a sectarian war. They will get what they want, sadly for all Syrians and for the entire region. But they will eventually pay very dearly.

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  4. It is Assad army,it is weak, before HA involvment, Assad army was clearly losing, what is left of it is around Damascus and up north in Latakia, HA troops are fighting in Qalamoon, while in Deraa and Deir Azzor the rebels are making headway,
    I am sad that it became a sectarian fight, we all Syrians, I think division of Syria is inevitable, but it is not going to be the end, it is a transitory period.

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  5. HA involvement in Syria is very costly, HA joined Assad regime in killing Syrians was an order from Iran, it was a mistake as I will explain, it was never for defending the holy places to the Shiaa, Zainab tomb was revered by both Sunni and Shiaa.
    HA is losing numerous number of Soldiers, we don’t know the exact number, estimate so far has exeeded 1000 between dead and wounded, HA is not announcing the exact number to maintain moral in HA, but it will be known sooner or later, there is a limit to how much they can sacrifice, and therefore there is a limit to how long they can involve themslves in Syria, the river of blood is huge, it certainly will dry up, so HA miscalculated, it will backfire on him,both in Lebanon and Syria,
    Further HA has caused a severe sedition,between Sunnis and Shiaa, such sectarian fight will last for hundreds of years, HA is an island of Shiaa in a sea of Sunnis, I wonder how much gains HA will get, I think they will lose much more.
    HA involvement in Syria has a price Assad regime has to pay in the future, they will ask for payment if Assad regime survived, Assad regime for all practical things is dying ,if not dead already, internationally the regime will have only Russia and China and Iran as a friend, there is no way the west will befriend Assad knowing he killed hundreds of thousands of his syrian people, Russia has nothing to gain,

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  6. With Iran no one knows their real intention, the interior minister once said close to two million iranian got the syrian citizenship,Assad may come out of a problem, he will put himself in another problem

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  7. Do you know more the ‘real’ intentions of the Saudis? I can tell you with certainty, they are the same as the Iranians..
    They are equally evil regimes, neither represent the Sunnis or the Shiites..
    So please, tell me, what the Bahrainis DID was better? Gave many Sunnis Bahraini citizenship, NOT long ago, do you have a selective memory?

    Non of these powers are serving us, the people, period.

    Please stop talking nonsense, as if we ever cared who is sunni and who is shiite. Muslims or non, no one cares. This nonsense is serving the usurpers not the people.

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  8. Dear NZ
    Your criticism of Saudi is well justified, they are dictatorship just like Assad, they inherited the rule just like Assad, but you missed my point, Iranians intend to take over Syria and they will abandone Assad as they are the one fighting the revolution now, Assad army is in deep trouble, he is reduced to mafia president

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  9. It is ironic, The jihadis that Assad created trained and sent to Iraq are now fighting against Assad, I predict that HA and Iraqi militias and Iran that are helping Assad will fight him in the future, power is blind,and forgetting is faster than events to a degree it is laughable

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  10. هل السكوت هو علامة رضى ام خوف و تردد, السكوت هو شيء مختلف تماما عن الكتمان, فمع الكتمان يوجد عمل سري, بينما لا يترافق مع السكوت عمل.

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  11. Syria May Violate Accord by Blocking South Korean Inspect
    The Syrian regime may be concealing informations, Syria may be accused of non compliance with the accord

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  12. “Of all the regional powers, Iran has contributed least, rhetorically, to the perception of a fitna (or sectarian schism) between Shia and Sunni. The Saudis are particularly guilty of masking state-strategic tensions, and repression of its own Shia community, under a cloak of religious sectarianism. By whipping up fear of Iran on the back of an energized Shia revival, the Saudis justify their tacit support for more controversial policies. In any other circumstances, their strong objection to a US withdrawal in Iraq, and their isolation of the former champions of Arab-Israeli resistance, Hezbollah, would be extremely problematic for the guardians of Mecca and Medina. The rising strategic threat of Iranian influence in Iraq and in Lebanon is thus characterized as the “Safavid dream of Shia expansion.”

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  13. الموقف الامريكي ليس جاداً تجاه سورية, السبب طبيعة السوريين, امريكا تبحث عن اشخاص يتبعونها.
    امريكالا تبالي بالشهداء, و هي تخشى اردوغان, المستفيد الوحيد اذا ذهب الاسد, السعودية همها ايران و ليس السيطرة على سورية
    و نحن لا نسعى للانتقام و لكن الجبهة الاسلامية تريد الانتقام من العلويين,و هو خطاء , انا مع العدالة و الحرية و الديموقراطية و العلويون الذين ليس على ايديهم دم يجب ان نتعاون معهم

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  14. “PERHAPS THE single-worst aspect of the entire legacy of occupation is the sectarianism and ethnic chauvinism that the U.S. consciously stoked (in Iraq) and then used as the basis of the country’s new political system.

    Iraq had a history of ethnic and religious oppression–though nominally secular, Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime was predominantly Sunni. It repressed Kurdish aspirations for self-determination, and crushed Kurdish and Shia uprisings at the end of the first Gulf War.

    Iraq, however, did not have a history of mass sectarianism and ethnic cleansing. But the U.S. occupation magnified and militarized these divisions, eventually triggering a full-blown civil war between Sunnis and Shias in Baghdad during 2006.

    Instead of leaving behind a stable democracy responsive to its people, the U.S. established a corrupt state similar to that in Lebanon. Kurdish, Sunni and Shia ruling classes compete, via their political parties, in a three-way battle for the spoils of the national government. According to Transparency International, Iraq’s new government is the eighth-most corrupt in the world.

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  15. The british Doctor who died on Assad prison, he was there for long time, there is every evidence that he was tortured severely, and lately he was told he will be released, a good news for him, then suddenly he is dead, the doctor who examined him said it was suicide, that coroner is the brother of interior ministry, M Shaaar,
    The regime statement is a lie,and the coroner statement is a lie, imprison him and torture him,and kill him is not a punishment for what he did, it was humanitarian work, help people who get wounded or sick,he never hurt anyone

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  16. Iraq’s scenario is intended for Syria and the whole region. Awareness is prime. Labels are hurtful and will only fuel tensions. From day one of the Syrian Uprising, non Syrians, anti-revolutionists, pundits and Orientalists were adamant on painting the righteous demands of the opposition as sectarian, or, reiterating asshead’s empty rhetoric,’islamists’ and… In every article, interview, side-talks, group talks, lecture, -since the invasion of Iraq-Sunni / Shiite division is highlighted and inserted. To the point that the rape of Palestine is painted as a “Sunni Arab-Israeli conflict”! As well, the leader of Hizbullah for the first time talks in open sectarian terms, “call us terrorists, criminals..we Shiites will never abandon Palestine.”

    You need not to pay a lot of attention, the intended scenario for the whole region is crystal clear. We never were, never will be sectarian, but we have to pay attention to the language we use, and not parrot the media’s.

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  17. The government of Asshead and their offshoot, ISIS, has been systematically targeting journalists to silence media coverage, without reporters and photographers, the outside world would have no way of knowing the truth about the war and its atrocities. Hospitals and recently doctors are their newest targets.

    “Journalists have been kidnapped in northern Syria since July 2012, according to the Rory Peck Trust, which assists freelance journalists and their families. Some have been released and a few have escaped captivity, but 14 — and perhaps more — remain unaccounted for.”

    CPJ -nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists- ranks Syria as the most dangerous country in the world for the press, 32 journalists have been killed in Syria in the last year, for a total of about 50 since the start of the civil war, some of them deliberately targeted. Perhaps 15 more are imprisoned on fabricated charges.

    Among the journalists known to have been abducted in Syria during the past year (some have since been released):

    http://www.ibtimes.com/kidnapped-imprisoned-journalists-syria-1411982

    The government suppress news by barring entry to most international journalists and controlling local news coverage. Syrian freelancers and citizen journalists have attempted to fill the gaps by photographing, videotaping and reporting on the bloody conflict. As a result, they have suffered the most. According to CPJ, 90 percent of the journalists who have been killed were Syrian, and many were specifically targeted.

    “Among the higher profile citizen journalists killed was Fidaa al-Baali, a passionate activist and observer who was frequently interviewed by international media, including the New York Times, who died in July from shrapnel wounds sustained during government shelling in Damascus. As the New York Times noted, “Al-Baali never stopped trying to document the conflict — not when his brother, a rebel fighter, died in battle; not when security officials, trying to pressure him, arrested his father; not even when the rebel battalion he was embedded with unleashed a mortar attack that killed his fiancée.”

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  18. About six months ago (September 2013) the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, entered the Syrian conflict, which has added a new threat for journalists and a new level of difficulty for those who would attempt to negotiate the release of kidnapped journalists. Groups such as Human Rights Watch usually work through intermediaries who are familiar with the rebels. Yet many of these intermediaries have no connection with ISIS or they are afraid of the group, which has also threatened to attack members of the Free Syrian Army.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/syrian-conflict-assad-regime-free-syrian-army-al-qaeda-war-against-journalists-syria-1411864

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  19. The Assad regime is also deliberately targeting facilities that deliver health care to Syrians. Systematically targeting hospitals. Ambulances targeted. Doctors and patients. Even field hospitals. “We ask all the parties in conflict, and the Syrian Government at this particular moment, to stop targeting civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools, and to stop using weapons with indiscriminate effects in urban areas, where civilians are paying the highest price,” said Teresa Sancristóval, MSF emergency manager. “All parties must comply with international humanitarian law.”

    “By attacking medical facilities, using hospitals as bases for military action, targeting medical personnel and interfering with patients receiving treatment, Government forces have perpetrated a concerted policy of denying medical aid to those affiliated with or part of the armed opposition.”

    A UK Doctor Went To Syria To Save Lives, Got Detained By Assad’s forces. The Syrian government told the BBC that Dr. Khan killed himself, committed suicide ??!! When asked why, the response by Mekdad “..ask Dr. Khan himself, or maybe its too late” he said it with a smirk!

    In asshead lala land dungeons, thousands died from torture or ill treatment, and tens of thousands are missing, Syrians and non-Syrians.

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  20. The message from the western goverment that Assad will stay,and Assad quick response that he will run for re election,these are bad news for the opposition, ,and will guaranttee that Geneve2 will fail, and the violence will continue.
    with friends like these(the west ) who needs enemy?
    If the west is afraid of revenge or retribution, there are other ways to assure that, like local autonomy,or keep 1/3 of the army in the Alawi hands, or UN mandate.
    Assad must go ,and this is the response to the western goverments,whether they like it or not

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  21. We hear a word saying the silent majority
    this is refering to large percentage of people they offer no opinion politically, I am sure they have opinion but they don’t talk publically about it,either they are afraid or worry about their family, it is not true that they are ignoring what is going on in Syria, they are living there, suffering from from the prices increase, from the increased security measures,they have families who are involved and they sympathize with them,and they hear the sounds of explosive every day, they have been indoctrinated for long time with certain ideas, they got used to avoid talking about politics
    after three years of the crisis, every one has an opinion,what are those opinions we may not know, that is why we need freedom, ,and respect that right, 45 year of dictatorship,and living in fear has killed the sense of democracy,if we don’t talk we will help those who talk but deceive people,or lie, we must give them the freedom to express their ideas so to participate in their society, the more they express their points the better society we are
    Either way they are not to be consired leaning to one side or the other,till they express their feeling,dictatorship florish when people stay quiet about the regime crimes, dictators love it when the people don’t talk, and by that they help perpetuating suffering and the evil people win.

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  22. Suicide story is common in Assad prisons and in people around Assad who disagree with him, Dr Khan was about to be released,then he died, Assad at least must order investigations, Dr. Khan must be taken to England where he should be
    examined by a coroner, so we know the cause of death
    As for Razan Zeitouneh and her friends who were kidnaped, the syrian coalition must demand search, their families are in deep agony,God be with them

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  23. The Syrian revolution is about removing the Assad family, it is not against the Alawi as a whole, they are part of the Syrian society, yes many of them committed crimes and hopefully justice will be reached, but no revenge, I repeat ,NO REVENGE from the whole sect, only justice.
    For that Assad should not stay as president as he has committed thousands of crimes and committed treason against the Syrian people and Syria
    So any one who says Assad may stay he actually did not understand the Syrian revolution, and he would be supporting the dictatorship and denying the Syrian their right to freely elect their president, we must accept free election,,as monitored by the united nation.
    Geneva2 is not going to give us everything we want, if at least we can get ceasefire and allow humanitarian supply, that I consider half victory, unfortunately ceasefire means temporary division of Syria.

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  24. As I said before US is afraid of Erdogan, today Erdogan is accusing some ambassadors of runing a campaign against him, US ambassador denied that, he knew that the accusation is directed toward him,

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  25. عبدالعزيز الخير ، ماهر الطحان، اياس عياش، رجاء التاصر، منذر خدم. جميعهم في سجون النظام، وجميعهم أعضاء في هيئة التنسيق، وجميعهم يرفضون عسكرة الثورة ويؤمنون بالحل السياسي
    اليس هذا اثبات ان موقفهم هو خاطئ, فالنظام لا يفهم إلا منطق القوة

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  26. There are people who say the upheaval in the Middle East is a storey of politics and economics, but they deny that ethnicity is a factor
    The Syrian regime depended mostly on loyalists from the Alawi sect, this is a sectarian policy and money and political power concentrated on loyalists from this and only sect, so using ethnicity to enrich and empower the Alawis,was what people complained about, I believe the regime used the ethnicity card so the Assad family stay in power, The Assad family embroiled the Alawi sect as they embroiled HA too, what happened thereafter that Ethnicity surfaced on top and became a major factor

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  27. القاء البراميل المتفجرة بكثرة و يوميا له هدف واحد هو ثني المعارضة عن الذهاب الى جنيف٢ .
    جثة الدكتور البريطاني من اصل باكستاني وصلت الى بيروت و ستخضع لفحص من طبيب لمعرفة سبب الموت,غالباً هناك سموم في جسمه

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  28. Joshua Landis said in NY Times
    In all probability, he(Assad) will remain the ruler of a large part of Syria for years to come.”,This assessment is unlikely
    1- Assad is brutal,he antagonized 70% of the Syrian people, for him to continue fighting he needs money probably 7-8 billion dollar a year, it will be difficult for Iran to provide.
    2- he is totally dependent on HA and Iraqi militias, HA can not continue this fight as they will run out of soldiers in two years,there probably he lost 1500 soldier and another 3000 wounded.
    3- world will not support war with this brutality for long time
    4 Wars with this intensity usually don;t last more than 3-4 years

    I have full respect to prof. Landis but I think he is stretching the facts

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  29. Is ceasefire possible in Syria?
    My answer is NO, Why?
    1-As long as Assad stay in power the opposition will keep on fighting,
    2-the opposition are not united yet, it is hard to have several military leader to unite and agree to ceasefire, the unity of the rebels depends on money supply and military supplies,
    3-the opposition are not localized in one town or area , they are all over Syria
    4- Assad way of thinking is based on one idea : never tolerate any opposition, he will continue the brutal violent suppression of those who oppose him,even peacefully,he will continue to arrest , imprison and torture ,and even kill in jail his opponent, that means he will always has military opposition.
    So neither Assad will respect ceasfire and nor the opposition will abide by ceasefire,as they face regime oppression.
    Howerver Ceasefire means defacto division of Syria, Assad may accept division as long as he stays as president but the opposition will not accept that until he abandone Damascus and Homs and Hama.

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  30. The END of Syrian conflict is no longer in the hands of the regime or the Syrian people, it is a war between KSA and Qatar on one side, and Iran on the other side, both are providing money and weapons, Iran is also providing troops from HA and Iraqi Maliki shiaa troops and Iranian troops, Russia is providing weapons and intelligence and political support to the Syrian regime.

    I expect US will abide by the Geneva2 resolution but follow up with no action , but I have serious doubt that Russia will abide by the decissions that will be reached in Geneve, so Geneve 2 will fail

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  31. Who is my enemy, who is my friend
    short time ago Israel was the enemy, and KSA was a friend to the syrian regime, today the regime is saying that KSA is enemy number one,
    We used to like Hasan Nasrallah, today we hate Hasan Nasrallah,
    when a man marry a woman she is his best friend, after divorce she is his worst enemy.
    This is life today friend is tomorrow enemy
    Today Iran is a close friend to Assad, in the future Iran will abandone him and will be their enemy number 1

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  32. No one is asking the US to send troops to Syria, and the negative attitude of US toward the syrian revolution helped weaken the FSA and strengthen the Islamists,and infact it helped the increase popularity of Da-esh, lack of action has consequences, and action has different consequences, one has to weigh both ,and see which one will help him more, but certainly lack of action gives the impression of weakness and embolden the Evil.
    US claimed to support freedom and democracy, claimed to defend human rights, but when US does not support those who call for freedom and democracy, and does not support human rights, then the morality of US is in deep trouble, it is a sick morality , it is hypocracy, it indicates double standard, what will follow is lack of respect to the US, and evil will prosper.
    Victory is always legitimate, and defeat is illegitimate, great heroes are the victorious ones, people admire victorious people,
    Obama policies if successful will help the image of his presidency,not weaken it.
    Obama miscalculated, he will go into history as a failing president, and American will not vote for black man to be president of USA for a very long time

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  33. Amina, 9, shows off how she can write her name in English. The other girls chatter about wanting to go back home to Syria.

    But Suzanne, a 5-year-old with large brown eyes, stays silent as she slips her hand into mine, clutching it tightly.

    —–

    It was the image of children with no shoes in the bitter winter and mud that Hala Habib Qiblawi, a designer and mother of three, couldn’t get out of her mind over the past year.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/23/world/meast/lebanon-syrian-refugee-camps/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter

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  34. كلام كارتر اعجبني و لكن ما تفسير الشعب السوري يقول كلمته في حكومة منتخبة, هل هذا يعني الشعب ينتخب حكومة ام ينتخب نواب يشكلون او يعينون حكومة, اي لمن تكون الحكومة مسؤولة امام من, لا يمكن ان الشعب سيخرج للمظاهرات كل مرة ليجيب على اعمال الحكومة
    ثم هذا يتطلب تغيير الدستور, الامر الذي يتطلب موافقة الشعب
    انا ارى ان نبدأ بوقف العنف تحت اشراف دولي, ثم انتخابات نيابية لتغيير الدستور, ثم تشكيل حكومة مع بقاء قوات دولية لدعم ارادة الشعب

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  35. القنابل الفراغية و المتفجرة المحرقة هي للقتل العشوائي, هي لقتل المدنيين , فلن تفيد الاسد شيئا, بل ستسبب زيادة الكره و الغضب, داخلياً و عالمياً,و قد يؤدي الى حظر جوي, هذه التصرفات و الاسلحة الكيماوية تثبت وحشية النظام .هو مستميت. إن علينا في جنيف٢ ان نبدأ بوقف العنف, و انا واثق بفشله, فالاسد اثبت دوما أنه لن يأخذ السبيل السلمي ابداً
    اعود و أكرر, نحن لسنا ضد الطائفة العلوية, و إنما نحن ضد عائلة الاسد, و لكن لنا عتب كبير على هذه الطائفة

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  36. Dr. Abbas Khan, a British citizen, allegedly committed suicide in one of Syria’s dungeons. His sister, Sarah Abbas, talking to BBC..very telling what Buthaina Sha’ban’s spokesperson told his mother:
    ..yes we have killed your son, and you could go back and tell your British government that we killed a British doctor and they can asks us for more answers..leave Damascus and never call the office again..

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  37. فيصل القاسم

    كنا ونحن صغار نصنع كرات من القماش بسبب الفقر، ونلعب بها كرة قدم. وكان أحد الصغار الذين كنا نلعب معهم طفلاً نزقاً جداً يشتاط غضباً كلما سجلنا هدفاً في مرمى الفريق الذي يلعب معه. وكان يصرخ ويشتم ويرفض الهدف الذي يسجله فريقنا. والأنكى من ذلك أنه كان يمسك الكرة بيده ويهجم على حارس مرمانا ويسجل الهدف بيده، ويصرخ بأعلى صوته: كوووول. شاء من شاء وأبى من أبى. كم يذكرني ذلك الطفل السخيف بالطغاة وبقايا الدول العميقة العربية الذين يضربون عرض الحائط بإرادة الشعوب وصناديق الاقتراع، فبدلاً أن يقبلوا بنتائجها، يرمون بها في الزبالة، ويعلنون فوزهم من فوق الأساطيح زوراً وبهتاناً، وينصبون أنفسهم حكاماً على الناس ضاربين عرض الحائط بإرادة الشعوب، وقوانين اللعبة الديمقراطية تماماً كما كان يفعل ابن حارتنا “زعيطو”.

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  38. “We’re all in this together.”

    Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield appealed for PEACE on January 2nd, 2013
    he posted a picture of Latakia, Syria, on his Twitter account with the message: “Deceptively calm and beautiful, strife-torn on the shore on the sea. Peaceful from such a distance.”

    “The perspective that we are subject to, that we are privileged enough to see directly with our eyes, is one I think would benefit everyone, to go around the world in just slightly over 90 minutes… you see it as one place,” Hadfield told a news conference streamed from the International Space Station.

    “And so when we do look down on a place that is currently in great turmoil or strife, it’s hard to reconcile the inherent patience and beauty of the world with the terrible things that we can do to each other as people and can do to the Earth itself,” he said.

    “If people, I think, could see the perspective more clearly… (they would glean) that understanding of the fact that we’re all in this together,” he said Thursday. “Yes, there’s important territorial issues and important personal issues but at the same time with increased communication and with increased understanding comes a more global perspective,” he added.

    Hadfield rocketed into space in December to become the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, which orbits the Earth from a distance of 350 kilometers (217 miles), circling the planet every 90 minutes at a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour.

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  39. Good morning – Merry Christmas! May the day find you with family, friends, peace and joy. ‘Chris Hadfield’

    Jewel in the Night — original music from the International Space Station

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  40. Bashar Assad used all what he has in his quiver, US is not going to supply the rebels with anti aircraft missles, so the rebels has to get more anti tanks missles, and attack the airports from where those planes that carry the bombs

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  41. Orwell’s 1946 essay Politics and the English Language famously observed that most political language  “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”.

    Obama’s successes in Syria?

    “IT WAS astonishing to hear President Obama, in the preamble to his end-of-year news conference last week, cite Syria as one of his foreign policy successes.”

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  42. We should know that Rami abdulrahman, this is not his real name, his real name is Osama Suleiman, and he is Alawi, this is a fact

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  43. Hmmm, he is Alawi! So? What is your point?
    Traitors come from all walk of life, yes or no?

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  44. 90% of the Alawis are supportive of Assad, so he has 90% chance that he is a trumpet of Assad, the question is when some one change his name,there is a reason, and for a man in his job ,there is the question of credibility,, why did he change his name?what is wrong with knowing facts? we need to know his motive, we need to know if his motive influenced his honesty, after all we we need to trust him or say he is not credible, you may trust him but after you know all the facts you may change your mind, we all seek the truth, at least I do, I like to hear your opinion on that, thanks.

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  45. The death of Mohammad Shatah is a turning point in Lebanon, Seniora said lebanon is different, KSA announce to strengthen the Lebanese army by 3 billion dollar, already arrangement was made with France, these billions will make the Lebanese army different, this include aircrafts missiles artillaries, and other equipments, this will strengthen the lebanese president too,HA will not be the strogest force in Lebanon, this could mean that HA will face opposition from the lebanese army, it could be contained by the new Lebanese army, this however will take time,
    I consider these news as very very important

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  46. My uncle’s wife happens to be an Alawite, to this day her voice opposing Assad is clear and it started way before the revolution.

    I understand the anger in you, but even if the figure of 90% is true, why shun the 10%?

    Personally, I strive for a better Syria for all. I curse the man and the idoelogy behind him along with his agents of insecurity for splitting Syrians apart.
    ————————

    The wilfully retarted argument that Assad is somehow better than the alternative is the biggest insult one can make to all the dead and displaced.

    As if somehow the psychopath that unleashed all this horror can somehow bottle it all up again. Even if he did succeed in doing so, the horros we see today are a direct result from the Assadists “winning” in Hama back in 82.

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  47. Dear Sami
    No we should not ignore the 10% , infact they are the most noble people,they benefit of nothing by opposing Asad(Aswad) they lose the most, they are most admirable and respected people to me, but 90% is too high some of those who say they oppose Aswad they are not telling the truth,they are against this revolution from day one, they are against freedom, they don’t believe in dignity and equality, they want to maintaing the hegemony and superiority of the current regime, those are included in the 90%, and you know who I am talking about, Ossama Suleiman is not a trustworthy person

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  48. Dear Majed,

    Those that want this regime should be shunned for just that.

    I know exactly of who you talk about, but they do not represent their sect just as thugs like Jolani do not represent you.

    I have read your comments for years now Majed, and well aware of your opinions. I know where your heart stands and feel the pain in your words.

    Your courage in going to Syria to help the wounded and less fortunate show the man you really are, you have nothing but my respect for that.

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  49. Thank you Sami
    I believe you are from Damascus , from the same area as I am,
    On another point
    كنت اتوقع الثورة في العراق منذ سنة, فالمالكي استشرى شراً,و هو اخطأ اليوم بمهاجمة الاعتصام السلمي, و سير الأمور تختلف عن مخططها, و لكن المثل يقول لا تصغر حتى تكبر

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  50. Dear Sami
    Thank you
    Not only Jolani does not represent me, Da-esh is my enemy as much as Assad is,
    they are the one who kidnapped Razan Zeitouneh, and Samira Khalil, and their friends, this is a contr revolution act , it is despicable act,freedom of speech must be respected and justice is necessary .
    Syria must be free

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  51. Majed,

    If I remember correctly you’ve mentioned that you live close by Shami Hospital. I live close to the Vatican Embassy (Safarah Al-Babawiyeh) just off the river. Ya3ni wulaad 7ara almost! Maybe we’ll share a shawarma at Farouks next time we’re both there.

    “Not only Jolani does not represent me, Da-esh is my enemy as much as Assad is”

    Very well said, cannot agree more. Assad and his henchmen do not represent Alawites either, both the Sunnis and Alawites of Syria are being held for ransom by extremists trying to destroy our beautiful country. The sooner our country is wrested from under the mercy of these thugs the sooner the healing starts.

    Personally, I cannot wait for us to identify each other as Syrians and just that.

    “لا تصغر حتى تكبر”

    I truly hope Iraqis avoid this and come to an understanding. Alas, with the latest assassination and arrest add to it the recent events in Lebanon are painting a very grim outlook for the region for time to come.

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  52. Sami
    if you walk up from the babawiya embassy then cross the malki street, you enter abdul Munem Ryad street then you get to Majd square, there is my house, this whole area used to belong to my Family several of my family live in this area, in fact my cousins live two building up from that embassy, we must meet one day

    Like

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