Syrian activist and journalist daughter buried in Istanbul after being stabbed to death

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of a prominent Syrian activist and her journalist daughter after they were stabbed to death in Istanbul.

Dr Orouba Barakat, 60, and her daughter Halla, 22, were found dead in their apartment in Istanbul on Friday 22 September.

Family sources believe they were assassinated because of their human rights work in exposing atrocities committed by the Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad against his political opponents.

A family member wrote on Facebook: “I’ll always remember Halla, whose name means beauty, as the little girl with golden curls and bright green eyes. She grew to become a dynamic, educated, kind, fun-loving, social justice-oriented individual, just like her mom.

“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”.

The killings have shocked the Syrian-exile community in Turkey and triggered opposition demands for accountability.

The Syrian National Coalition said in a statement: “The hand of terrorism and tyranny is the prime suspect in this heinous crime. The Coalition is absolutely confident that investigations being conducted by the Turkish authorities will reveal the details of the crime”.

The New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that, “Turkey must ensure the protection of Syrian journalists who have fled to the country seeking safety”.

The CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia programme coordinator, Nina Ognianova, said: “We call on Turkish authorities to find those responsible for the murders of Halla Barakat and Orouba Barakat, and bring them to justice.”

Dr Orouba was the aunt of the victims of the Chapel Hill shooting in the US in 2015, where a far-right terrorist murdered Deah Barakat along with his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

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