Syria: Syria: Office of Violations Documentation Center (VDC) in Damascus Al-Ghouta attacked

25.07.16

The Violations Documentation Centre in Syria (VDC) reported that a Syrian government jet fighter attacked the office of VDC in Douma city which is located in Al-Ghouta, a suburb of the capital Damascus. Reports confirmed that two missiles have been fired against the office during the afternoon of 22 July 2016, which led fortunately only to destruction of the office, but not to any casualties. Civilian areas were targeted by the air strikes as well.

The VDC is an independent, civil non-profit, non-governmental organization that has been monitoring and documenting the violations of human rights in Syria since April 2011. It was founded by prominent human rights lawyer Razan Zaitouneh, who along with her colleagues Samira Khalil, Nazem Hamadi and her husband Wa’el Hamada have been in captivity since being kidnapped by armed men from their offices on 9 December 2013.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) expresses full solidarity with VDC and condemns in the strongest terms the air strike on its office in Douma city.  We believe that this attack is part of the continued targeting of civil society organizations by the Syrian government through its security services.

The GCHR calls on Syrian authorities to:

  1. Immediately stop its airstrikes that target civilians in Syrian and provide a safe environment for members civil society including NGOs to do their peaceful and legitimate work; and
  2. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights organisations in Syria are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment. 

Photo credit: to the VDC facebook page