Translated by Aisha Barazi
Damascus – up until now, the destiny and whereabouts of the young Dr. Ahmad Saleem AlBiqaei, AKA Ahmad the Free, remains unknown since the day he was abducted on November 4th, 2013 in one of the liberated areas of Eastern Ghouta.
Ahmad was one of the pioneering doctors who joined the revolution, he put all of his efforts, energy and capabilities into serving the revolution. He established the “Save a Soul” medical team which operates in several villages in the area.
The incident of his abduction caused extensive fears of abduction becoming a phenomenon against civil activists in Ghouta as it has become in other liberated areas.
More than 50 male and female activists, mostly reporters, were kidnapped within the liberated areas during the second half of this year (2013). Aleppo and Raqqa comes first with an equal number of abduction incidents, not only exceeding the number of incidents but demonstrating a sheer difference compared to all other liberated areas which may have experienced incidents where civil activists were attacked — but not to the extent of kidnapping and killing them.
Furthermore, more than 90% of those kidnapping cases were performed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), AKA Daesh, which completes the mission started by the Syrian regime of executing activists and forcing the rest of them to flee and live in exile. During the last month alone, more than 10 activists left their areas, crossing the borders to Turkey from Aleppo, Raqqa and Hama suburbs. Among those were the members of the Raqqa Youth Committee, the renowned activist Mosaab Al Hamadi, and a colleague of ours in the Violations Documentation Centre (VDC) in Aleppo.
Those who fled are feeling excruciating bitterness because they had previously survived in the face of the tyrant regime for 3 years, but due to the limitations they were facing in the liberated areas to the extent of kidnapping and threats of execution, as well as the inability of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to protect them, all their options were eliminated and they were forced to leave.
While there is some media uproar and urgency on social media websites for each abduction incident, after a while, the case is forgotten amid an almost complete inability to influence or intervene on behalf of the abductees. Some of them were abducted with a great deal of obscurity, even after more than 6 months since their disappearance, for instance, Samar Saleh, Mohammad Alomar and many others.
No one wants to witness similar incidents in the liberated areas of Ghouta and to lose its privilege which was accomplished by the efforts of the rebels and the people there. They have maintained the security and discipline as much as they could across the massive areas under their control. Till present time, no one knows the fate of Dr. Ahmad AlBiqaei, nor who is responsible for his abduction. The voices, which were calling for his freedom and demanding his fate be revealed, have faded over time.
Whoever was responsible for Dr. Ahmad’s abduction, it was a clear message to all combat brigades, battalions and the civilian actors in Ghouta that they are deficient in defending and protecting their people. However, the response to that message is still negative and confirming the contrary through intensifying the efforts to reveal the fate of the abducted doctor and holding his abductors accountable for their actions. We are awaiting an initiative from the FSA, police and security departments and civil organizations in Eastern Ghouta.