Creating new perspectives since 2009

Syrian activist and daughter ‘assassinated’ in Turkey

September 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Image of Dr Orouba Barakat and her 22-year-old daughter Halla who were found dead in their apartment in Istanbul, Turkey [Suzanne Barakat/Facebook]

A prominent Syrian opposition activist and her journalist daughter have been found murdered in Turkey allegedly by members of Bashar Al-Assad’s security forces.

Istanbul police department confirmed today that the bodies of 60-year-old Dr Orouba Barakat and her 22-year-old daughter Halla were found in their apartment in Istanbul’s Uskudar neighbourhood, located in the Asian side of the city.

The police were called by friends of the victims who became concerned after failing to get in contact with the mother and daughter. Post-mortem examinations on the bodies indicated that the pair had been dead for three days. Their bodies showed signs of stab wounds and strangulation.

Friends and family believe they were assassinated by the Assad regime because of their human rights work in exposing atrocities committed by the Syrian president against his political opponents.  Orouba is said to have been investigating alleged torture in prisons run by the Syrian government. She had initially lived in Britain, then the United Arab Emirates before settling in Istanbul.

The mother and daughter have been confirmed as family members of the victims of the Chapel Hill shooting in the US in 2015 when a known Islamophobe murdered Deah Barakat along with his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

Read: The Syrian rebellion enters its endgame

In an emotional tribute to her aunt on Facebook, Deah’s sister Suzanne Barakat wrote: “How many more beloved family members will I lose to hatred and violence?” Suzanne also mentioned that Orouba and Halla, who had worked for Turkish news agency TRT World, were both recently threatened by the Syrian regime.

“At the age of 60, Orouba Barakat had signed very important interviews with opponents who were tortured in prisons in Syria. Orouba has publicised numerous documentaries and interviews about Assad regime’s prison massacres in English and Arabic,” she wrote.