Ambassador Samantha Power, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, launched a campaign, #FreeThe20 to highlight the plight of 20 women around the world who have been unfairly imprisoned for their views or political activism.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights nominated three of the most prominent female detainees in Syrian upon the request of the Human Rights and Democracy Office in the US State Department, and Rasha Sharbaji was chosen.
Rasha Sharbaji, born in 1982 in Daraya City in Damascus suburbs, was arrested on 22 May 2014 in the Immigration and Passports State building in Ruken Al Deen in Damascus. Rasha, who was pregnant with twins, in her third trimester, and accompanied with her two aunts and three children, were arbitrary arrested without presenting any arrest warrant or explaining why she was arrested by Syrian authorities in the Political Security branch in Damascus. Later, she was taken to Al Mazzi Prison that is affiliated to the Air Force Intelligence branch in Damascus, while her children were taken to the SOS orphanage in Qudsaya City in Damascus. Also, her family was prohibited from visiting the children. Her aunts were released later after being incarcerated for few days.
In SNHR, we hope that such campaigns would raise awareness towards the Syrian cause and exert a pressure on politicians and decision-makers in order to enforce the International Human Rights Law in totalitarian countries.