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Supporting the Grassroots

The Safe World Field Partners Programme helps give a voice to grassroots women's groups around the world.

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APPEAL: Syria's Missing 'Origami' Protest Girls

Today we came across the following story by Talib K. Ibrahim published on the Radio Netherlands website.

What chance do paper birds have against tanks and guns and a ruthless determination cling onto power? Not much, of course, but the regime in Syria is apparently so scared of even this sort of symbolic resistance that it must be crushed. 

Two Syrian sisters are behind the paper bird protest – to be exact they are origami cranes – and those two sisters have now disappeared. Friends suspect that they have been tortured or worse. The sisters – who used the artist names "Cham and Jasmine" – had been leaving the colourful folded cranes at crossroads and street corners in the Syrian capital Damascus. 

It was an artistic form of civil protest - based on the Japanese legend that whoever folds a thousand cranes will have their wishes come true. The names of people kidnapped by the regime in its fight against the popular revolt were written on the paper birds.

 The sisters disappeared themselves on August 5 – Syrian security officials arrived in a car and took them to an unknown destination. Nothing has been heard from them since. Friends fear the worst:

 “More than 77 days has elapsed since the arrest, which means they exceeded the period at which detainees should be transferred to the court. So why haven't they been transferred yet?”  asks their friend Sami Shukri. From experience the friends and activists say that if detainees are not transferred to the court within this period then their lives are in danger. 

A campaign has now been launched to try and secure the release of the activists. Volunteers are folding cranes with the names of the two sisters on them to demand their release. 

”It’s a campaign based on folding origami cranes named after the two sisters, involving volunteers and groups. The wishes in legends may be a mere "myth", but in reality they carry the wish of Syrian liberation from tyranny, and freedom for all prisoners,” says Sami Shukri. 

A few weeks ago we heard about a missing blogger Fatima Khaled Saad.

For several weeks we put out repeated requests on the Social Media for information so we could start a campaign for her release. Sadly we heard nothing until early this week when we heard that, tragically, Fatima had died in prison in Damascus.

We do not want the same to happen to Cham and Jasmine.

Please help by connecting us with existing campaigns for the girls, so we can get more information and help generate global support to demand Cham and Jasmine's release and safety.

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 فتيات "اوريغامي" المتظاهرات .. مفقودات في سوريا
نرجوا منكم ربطنا بالحملات الحالية المتعلقة بهذا الموضوع وذلك لجمع المزيد من المعلومات والتنسيق ممايحث المنظمات الدولية المعنية بالموضوع للضغط في سبيل اطلاق سراح شام وياسمين .
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