Today, thirteen Greek-Orthodox nuns were released from the capture of al-Qaida-linked rebels. Their discharge has prompted a closer look at how many prominent people still remain missing in Syria.
Members of clergy are among the many presumed taken by radicals such as the al-Qaida breakaway group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Two bishops and a priest have been missing since last April, according to Syrian opposition activists and church officials. An Italian Jesuit, Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, went missing in July after traveling to meet Islamic militants in the eastern city of Raqqa.
According to the Associated Press as many as 22 activist still remain in custody of some radicals.
Syria's leading human rights lawyer, Razan Zaytouni, was abducted along with her husband and two other prominent activists from a rebel-held Damascus suburb Dec. 10. Zaytouni is an icon of Syria's secular revolutionaries. Nobody claimed responsibility for her abduction, but it came after she wrote an article denouncing the Islamic State.
Abdullah Khalil, also a human rights lawyer, has been missing since last May. Khalil became the head of the local council in Raqqa. Khalil was last seen on May 18, when was taken away by unidentified armed men as he was leaving his office.
Journalist who were supposed to be remain safe have also fallen to this fate. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimates about 30 international and local reporters are currently in captivity.
The Greek-Orthodox nuns were released in exchange for dozens of women held in government prisons. The nuns were held captive for three-months.