Human Rights Watch said that 20 women and 34 children are still missing after being kidnapped by armed factions and have asked the international community for help releasing them immediately.
Since news of the kidnapping at the beginning of August 2013, there has been no update on their whereabouts.
On 12 March, 2014, one of the kidnapped women appeared in a video clip, asking the regime to help release them. This was the condition of the armed factions to release the arrested women from the coastal region whose detention had no direct relation with the revolution. The woman explained that the total number of hostages was 96 women and children.
Throughout the year, the Syrian regime has ignored this case and has failed to show any interest in negotiating to save the lives of these Alawite women and children, just as he ignored any offer of negotiation with the armed opposition factions to release his Alawite soldiers and officers.
On the other hand, the regime insisted that there are no women and children in his prisons, while the statistics show that there are tens of thousands of women and children detaineed in his prisons and security branches; some of these women gave birth and died under arrest.
The opposition factions that arrested the women are mostly Islamists, though they condemned the arrest and kidnap of women and children by the regime. Does Islam justify a crime like this?
There is no need to talk about the crimes of the regime, as its crimes are bigger than a whole nation. But the response to a crime should not be another crime, unless if these defenders of people's lives and rights are following the law of the jungle – not justice- and this contradicts with the religious teachings of Islam.
In Islam, just as in the laws of the civil state, under the higher power – whether we called it Allah or justice – kidnapping women and children is considered a major war crime.
A year after the crime, the kidnappers should realize that they have gained nothing from the regime, and in fact, if any harm comes to these women and children it will be used against them, either by the regime or by any other party.
If the kidnappers could realize the long-term effects of this situation, they will release the kidnapped Alawite women and children, because this will restore some trust among the Syrians and it may give them a chance to talk and find a solution, far from the regime and its bloody hands.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer