Syria frees 260 detainees in overture to protesters | Pakistan Today

Syria frees 260 detainees in overture to protesters

DAMASCUS – Syria freed 260 political detainees in the biggest overture yet to protesters demanding reform in the country, where President Bashar al-Assad is facing unprecedented domestic pressure. “Syrian authorities have freed 260 detainees from Saydnaya prison, mainly Islamists but also including 14 Kurds, in a move that comes as part of the promises authorities made recently to boost freedom in Syria,” Abdul Karim Rihawi, president of the Syrian League for the Defence of Human Rights, told AFP.
The news, confirmed by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, comes one day after at least 13 people were killed in protests demanding major reforms in Syria, which the Baath party has ruled for close to 50 years. Assad’s government had announced a string of reforms on Thursday, including the release of all activists detained this month and the possibility of ending emergency rule, in place since 1963. But protesters have vowed to keep hitting the streets until their demands for “freedom” are met.
A Facebook group that has emerged as a motor behind a string of demonstrations that have surfaced in Syria this month drummed up support for more rallies on Saturday, the morning after more than a dozen died in protests across the country.

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