Razan Zeitouneh, Wael Hamada, Samira Khalil and Nazem Hammadi are peaceful Syrian activists who worked at the Violations Documentation Centre (VDC), an NGO that monitors human rights violations in Syria. The four activists were deprived of their liberty after being abducted from the VDC offices in Duma, part of the Eastern Ghouta area which is under the effective control of armed opposition groups, in the evening of 9 December 2013 and have not been heard of since. One of the most powerful groups in the area at the time of the disappearance is Jaysh al-Islam, who have so far denied involvement with the crime and appear to have made no significant efforts to investigate what happened to the four activists.
Razan Zeitouneh is a Syrian human rights lawyer who worked predominantly on the cases of prisoners of conscience and other political prisoners and is long-term human rights activist. She established the VDC. Wael Hamada is an active human rights defender. Nazem Hammadi is a lawyer, poet and human rights activist. Samira Khalil is a renowned political activist and human rights defender who was a political prisoner by the Syrian government from 1987 – 1991.