Talk:Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria

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The registry of names of the war dead between 1914-1922

When complaining about the reliability of the data, one must remember that it took Finland over 80 years to create The registry of names of the war dead between 1914-1922. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:59, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Located in Douma?

Meanwhile, Syrian activists said a leading human rights lawyer had been abducted near Damascus on Tuesday.

Razan Zaytouna was seized along with three other activists from the eastern suburb of Douma after armed men broke into the office of the Violations Documentation Centre (VDC), which monitors casualties.

The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC), a network of opposition activists of which Ms Zaytouna is a founding member, demanded their immediate and unconditional release.

There was no claim of responsibility for the abduction, but Ms Zaytouna is reported to have recently received threats from Islamist rebel groups.

BEIRUT - Prominent Syrian human rights lawyer Razan Zeitoune was kidnapped along with her husband and two colleagues in the Damascus town of Douma.

"Masked men stormed and vandalized the Douma office of the Violation Documentation Center in Syria and [kidnapped] Razan Zeitoune, [her husband] Wael Hmadeh, Nazem al-Hamadi and Samira al-Khalil,” sources told NOW on Tuesday.

What the hell? Obviously the kidnapping is more immediately relevant, but I too am stuck on her locale. I thought they'd be in Europe somewhere. For well over two years they help launder rebel, often Islamist rebel, crimes and blame the "regime." And she was right in one of the Damascus suburbs the "regime" has at times controlled, or shelled, or whatever - and it takes some Islamists to finally shut the operation down or threaten it over ... what, I wonder? --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:13, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

More on the Abduction

(...of VDC director Razan Zaitouneh)

VDC Entries/Another Zaitouneh Woman Taken

So, I checked the VDC's own database for missing and detained people, and Razan and her cohorts still do not appear on either. It sometimes seems that only having the regime allegedly to blame gets you there, and that isn't the case here. Hey, she helped found the system ...

Two near-matches in the Damascus suburbs pop up on the detainees list. First, it says a woman Yara Fares was detained in Damascus suburbs (unspecified) on December 8, two days before Razan. Notes: "Wife of the detainee " Maher Tahan ". She has detained on Sehnaya checkpoint-Damascus Suburbs." Photo provided. Then, more close to home, Nibal Fadlallah Zetouneh, age 51, from Jaramana (largely Christian and generally pro-government, BTW), an Arabic teacher. Taken a bit earlier, on November 27, she could be Razan the lawyer's older sister, but that would add complications to the story. Notes: "she was arrested when she was in the school," and clues suggest it was regular government forces that met her there.

That was November 27. The database doesn't yet suggest Nibal was released, but it gives a link to her Facebook page with recent posts suggesting she's been free since ... December 1 at the latest, when she started the account and posted the photo the VDC uses. (Unless she's doing that all from detention?) First, there's no mention of the Arabic name Razan ( رزان ) therein, though I didn't check for sister ( شقيقة ), and she'll be one to use synonyms and allusions, so it might take a few tries. The basic (Google-translate-suggested) words for arrest, released, etc. also do not appear. It's mainly poem-type stuff.

Her first post after a maybe four-day arrest suggests she minored in drama: Google translated, it says in part "Here in the cold dark depths of your cell ... O Sun of yearned Damascus ... Here we send prayers of parents ... Mosques and churches ... " She sounds at least vaguely anti-government, but certainly not Salafist. Another post seems to be a note from her father "To my daughter behind bars," consoling her that "no matter how long the darkness of the prison .... Must dawn .. The dawn of freedom days (Liban/Yban = يبان = ? ) It seems "the darkness of the prison" was four days and then she was out and on Facebook, while the "dawn of freedom" they seem to speak of remains elusive. Razan Zaitouneh, no apparent relation, was gotten to first by those who'd overthrow Nibal's captors and burn down the churches, it seems. If so, she may not be so fortunate. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:15, 14 December 2013 (UTC)


Razan Zeitouneh, a human rights activist who’s the leader of the civic opposition throughout the two-and-a-half-year-old Syrian uprising, was abducted along with her husband and two other activists from the war crimes documentation center where she worked, the center confirmed Tuesday.
Zeitouneh’s activities would have made her a target of pro-Assad forces, but the suspicion that it was an anti-Assad group that abducted her underscored growing concern that religious fundamentalists have broken with secular revolutionaries and are attempting to establish an Islamist state.
Zeitouneh recently took aim at the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has launched a fierce campaign in the past three months against the more secular Free Syrian Army and has installed harsh Islamist rule in cities and towns it’s conquered. Earlier this month, she wrote in the Lebanese magazine NOW that more than 50 activists, most of them so-called citizen journalists, had been abducted in rebel-held areas primarily in Syria’s north during the second half of this year.
“More than 90 percent of the cases of abduction are carried out by ISIS, which continues the role of the regime in assassinating activists and pushing those who remain to exile,” she said.

More Violations of Documentation


Okay, so I picked up that whatever you can and can't say with totality about demographics in the districts of Homs, al-Zahraa is a majority Alawite and government-supporting district. It was an alleged Shabiha massacre of 34 abducted people here on December 5, 2011, that set off a tit-for-tat killing spree where there's only evidence for the tat. People in Zahra have complained of rebel barrages, incursions, abductions for ransom and murder of other residents, most of whom will be even more likely than the demographics suggest to be Alawites. So does the VDC record any Azhraa residents killed in the December spree, or at any time?Perhaps - there are a huge number with blank areas (and an unknown number with falsified ones). Usually areas are proudly noted, martyrs from an area give it some prestige. But not Zhraa. All those civilian martrs in this Alawite majority district, noted as such, all-time to present = 3

Note the time span of omissions ... the 18 months when likely many hundreds were killed.

However, soldiers from there is another story. It says 0 but that's the disabled search functions. It did get down to regime casualties from Homs province, and just on the front page, the last 100 from 2013, and not all of them (I got the first several totally but got bored). Each said Zahraa neighrborhood or just Zahraa or an alternate spelling), Note: Rank: unknown means presumed Shabiha, aka likely civilian Short entries:

  • Ayman Ali al-Mokataf Rank: Unknown 2013-06-23
  • Nader Abboud Rank: Unkown 2013-06-17
  • Jafar al-Akkary Rank: Civilian 2013-05-31
  • Ahmad al-Shaar Unknown 5-27
  • Mueen Muhammad al-Sulaiman Colonel 5-27
  • Youssef Ahmad al-Hasan Unknown 5-27
  • Azzam Muhammad al-Abdu Unknown 5-25
  • Mahmoud Younes Anka Colonel 5-20
  • Shadi Seif al-Ibrahim Unknown 5-19
  • Somar Yehia al-Ali Unknown 5-19 ...

And it's not a big district. Other overly-common Homs districts: al-Abbasid Neighborhood and especially al-Muhajireen Neighborhood, popping up the most of any. Loyalist districts, demographics unsure. Those two and Zahraa stand out over the rest combined. At least until June 2013 - Zahraa stops appearing six months ago when it was almost daily before. In its place, more entries of Homs:(blank) - all soldiers field executed, or unknown or even civilian rank (shameful entries), including unknown "Samir" and his "Samir son," child-male, no age given, killed 8-17 somewhere in Homs. Note with Samir Son: "14 killed among them civilians due to clashes between people`s committe (Kataeb) and (Lijan Shabieh) on Kalat Hosn area..." Lijan Shabieh is popular committees, used to be called Shabiha. The area, not sure... maybe not Zahraa.

One unknown Younes Hussain Sallom shot Aug 1 in Nuzha, apparently, because so was Mohsen Sallom from Nuzha, another area I hear is Alawite majority. * *Younes: Martyrdom location: Homs: Khalidiya. Cause of Death: Shooting. Rank: (blank)

  • Moshen: Martyrdom location: Homs: Khalidiya. Cause of Death: Shooting. Rank: Unknown. Notes: Form national defense army.

You'd say he died in a fair fight, or even in self-defense during a Shabiha raid into a Sunni village maybe. But bringing his civilian brother along to die together suggests something much more one-sided happened here.

Web hosting?

I was wondering how the abductions would effect the day-to-day operations of the center. There seems to be little of no effect, the web site is still up, weekly reports are still appearing. Apparently all this manual work is done somewhere outside Syria.

I checked the IP-address. From where I sit, is served from IP-address in Sweden. Data for the IP-address say it is used by "Media Frontiers ApS".

From the Media Frontiers web site I read:

The goal of Media Frontiers is to contribute to a global context in which online news media and civil society organisations can positively impact on reducing human insecurity and promoting democratic development. To realise this Media Frontiers supports news media and civil society organisations in achieving operational and financial sustainability through the provision of specialised services.

Also on the front page I read:

The Open Society Foundations (OSF), created by George Soros to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens, has provided core funding to Media Frontiers.

Makes me wonder: are we not part of civil society? Are we not about "reducing human insecurity?" Are we not asking for accountability from governments? Why do WE not use Media Frontiers to host our work? (Why do we use a crappy platform best suited for writing about videogames and Pokémon?)

The answer lies in the Soros definition of Civil Society. It definitively does not mean us! In the Open Society Foundations (OSF) vocabulary "Civil Society" is just another form of weaponized nonviolence in the target nations and a tool of capitalist oppression in the developed world. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 15:58, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Just to clarify, in case there's the slightest confusion, we're not remotely considering asking for a dime of the Soros money. I'm presuming Petri agrees and so I say we. --Caustic Logic (talk) 15:55, 7 January 2014 (UTC)