Abdalaziz Alhamza, award-winning journalist and co-founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, which exposes the atrocities committed by the Bashar Al-Assad regime and ISIS in Syria, addressed the 11th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below.

11th Geneva Summit for human rights, main event, Tuesday, March 26, 2019

On becoming a citizen journalist:

“The local media was talking about what would happen to the earth if the sun would disappear while Syrians were dying in the street, so I decided to do something.”

“The next day I went to the street with my old Nokia phone. I went back home and uploaded the video and I noticed that my video went viral. In that moment, I learned about something called citizen journalism.”

“I started to use that to tell the world about what was going on in Syria, and that was a reason for the Syrian regime to arrest me. I was tortured, but I was lucky enough to be released.”

On taking on ISIS:

“We decided to stop the recruitment regime of ISIS. And since we started the number of people joining ISIS went down.”

“We started to do campaigns showing how ISIS people were eating in fancy restaurants, while local people were starving waiting in lines to get some food.”

“We went to the most dangerous streets of ISIS and we tagged the walls with graffiti against the Assad regime and ISIS.”

“ISIS is an ideology. You can’t fight an ideology with bombs. If we need to fight an ideology, we need to fight it with an idea.”

UN Opening Event, Monday, March 25, 2019

Quotes:

“In March 2011, the Syrian revolution began, demanding democracy and freedom of speech. The Syrian government responded by shooting and killing protesters.”

“When I saw the recent photos and videos being sent from my city, I cried.”

“In order to stop the destruction, we must stop the Syrian regime.”

For links to other speakers’ quotes, videos, photos, livestream, and more, click here.

Abdalaziz Alhamza at UN opening of 2019 Geneva Summit