Foreign Minister Westerwelle today issued the following statement on the kidnapping of Sakharov Prize laureate Razan Zaitouneh and other Syrian human rights activists.
The kidnapping of human rights activists who fight to overcome oppression deals a severe blow to civil society in Syria.
I condemn this act in the strongest possible terms. The fearless work of Razan Zaitouneh and her fellow activists is symbolic of the Syrian citizens’ pursuit of peace, democracy and the rule of law.
I call for the immediate release of the civil rights activists and want to recall that all parties to the conflict in Syria are obliged to uphold international humanitarian law and respect human rights.
On 9 December gunmen seized Syrian human rights defender Razan Zaitouneh and civil rights activists Samira Khalil, Wael Hamada and Nazim Hamadi from the office of a Syrian human rights organisation in Duma, a Damascus suburb. For many years now Sakharov Prize winner Razan Zaitouneh has been campaigning for the rights of political prisoners, freedom of expression and the disclosure of human rights violations.