The atrocities that have been perpetrated by the Islmaic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Raqqa, have led to a fierce movement of resistance within Raqqa-based activists. "Raqaa is being Slaughtered Silently" is but one of the initiatives aiming to challenge ISIS' narrative of the revolution, and its hold over the city.
The campaign was launched on April 16 “to deliver the true extent of the suffering in Raqqa, and the hideous crimes of ISIS in the city,” according to one of the initiative’s coordinators.
Activists based outside of Raqqa were tasked with raising awareness of the campaign, through any available medium as well as coordinating relief and rescue efforts. Those based in the city were responsible for organizing the resistance efforts inside the city and for spreading word of the campaign through graffiti and pamphlets. The campaign also focused on raising the awareness of the local people of Raqqa to the true extent of the violations of ISIS.
The campaign drew a forceful response from ISIS. More than fifty activists have been detained since its inception, many of whom have not been released yet. The al-Qaeda-linked movement also mobilized its fighters to roam the city streets with heavy arms in a grotesque show of force. But the worst of ISIS’s horrors was to come when twelve young activists, including media activist al-Mutazbillah Ibrahim, were executed in response to the campaign.The forceful response terrorized the city and limited any mass participation in the campaign, but the activists have not been deterred. Pamphlets and graffiti were soon back in Raqqa protesting the grotesque violence of ISIS. Other cities joined in the campaign as well, including al-Salihiyah, Damascus, Hammouriyah, calling for the “ISIS gang” to leave Raqqa, and demanding the release of all detainees under its control, including Father Paolo and photographer Muhammad Nour Matar.
The campaign’s operators fund their own activities, and reject any form of funding that lays restrictions or conditions on them.