America-born journalist Halla Barakat and her mother Orouba Barakat were found dead in Istanbul. The mother-daughter duo were activists who opposed the Syrian regime.
The two women were strangled and stabbed to death. They were then doused in chemicals in an attempt to cover up the crime. Nobody had heard from them in days, till their friends reported them missing to the authorities
The authorities found their bodies in their apartment. They were friends with Kayla Mueller, the humanitarian aid worker who was captured and killed by the ISIS during a Jordanian air strike in February.
Assad’s Operatives Key Suspects
Orouba’s sister said that the two had been assassinated by the hand of tyranny and injustice. Orouba had been probing allegations of torture in prisons run by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Halla had been working as an editor for ‘Orient News’. Assad’s operatives are the prime suspects in the murder.
“The United States is deeply saddened by the deaths of Orouba and Halla Barakat. Halla served as a journalist for Orient News and we remember the courageous work of her mother, Orouba, a Syrian activist who reported on the Syrian regime’s atrocities. The United States condemns the perpetrators of these murders and we will closely follow the investigation,” said the US State Department in a statement.
Had Received Death Threats
Both women had received death threats via social media and on email from supporters of the Syrian regime.
The two were planing to start a charity in Kayla Mueller’s honour. They wanted to support Syrian women living in refugee camps in Turkey. They would purchase yarn in Istanbul, take it to the Syrian border so that women could make goods that they could then sell.
“The charity they all started together is the Karama Foundation which means Dignity, helping Syrian women find work and make clothing and toys to sell, giving themselves and their children hope and the dignity to go on, to survive. Our hearts break for Orouba, Halla and their family and friends, all those they loved and all who loved them,” said Kayla Mueller’s parents in a statement.
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Picture Credit: ABC