Syria opposition leader Seif held at Damascus airport

August 1, 2011 22:43

AMMAN- Syrian security agents briefly detained top opposition leader Riad Seif at Damascus airport on Monday and prevented him from traveling to Germany to seek treatment for cancer, opposition sources told Reuters.

Seif, who has prostate cancer, was seized together with his German wife minutes before he was due to board an Austrian Airways flight, a friend of Seif told Reuters. They were released two hours later, after the flight had departed.

A travel ban on Seif was officially lifted several days ago. The 60-year-old, a fierce critic of Syria's autocratic political system, was arrested for two weeks in May for marching in a pro-democracy demonstration in Damascus. He was released in 2010 after spending eight years in jail as a political prisoner.

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