Syria releases 552 detainees: TV
Beirut, January 5, 2012
Syrian authorities have released 552 people detained during the 10-month revolt against the rule of President Bashar Al-Assad, Syrian state television said on Thursday.
"(Syria) released 552 people who were involved in recent events whose hands were not stained with blood," the station said in a news flash.
The move follows the release last week of 755 detainees, part of a peace plan that Syria signed with the Arab League in December. The deal calls for the withdrawal of troops from cities, dialogue with the opposition and the release of thousands of detainees.
Arab League General Secretary Nabil Elaraby said on Monday that the mission had secured the release of about 3,500 prisoners.
US-based Human Rights Watch accused the Syrian authorities last week of hiding prisoners in military facilities to avoid Arab League monitors. The monitors are not allowed to visit military sites.
More than 5,000 people have been killed in the crackdown on protests since March, according to the United Nations. Assad says he is fighting an insurgency by armed terrorists who have killed 2,000 soldiers and police. - Reuters