Syria releases 552 detainees, state TV reports

Those freed "were involved in recent events...hands were not stained with blood," according to Syrian television.

January 5, 2012 12:20
2 minute read.
Arab League observers walking through protest

Arab League observers walking through protest. (photo credit: REUTERS/via Reuters Tv/Handout )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Syrian authorities have released 552 people detained during the 10-month revolt against the rule of President Bashar 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. Last week Syria released 755 people.

Syrian rebels raid military checkpoints
Arab body says monitors should quit Syria promptly

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

At least 20 people were killed Wednesday in clashes with Syrian forces in separate cities throughout Syria as security forces transferred prisoners in order to deceive Arab League monitors, Syrian opposition groups said.

Most of the deaths occurred in the city of Homs, according to the Syrian Revolution General Commission said - a confederation of some 40 opposition groups. That coalition put the number of protesters killed in the nearly year-long conflict at 6,000.

The opposition also claimed that Syrian forces had transferred prisoners from the restive town of Idlib to a nearby facility in order to deceive Arab League monitors in Syria to implement an league peacekeeping mission, according to Al Jazeera.    

Because most foreign media is not permitted in Syria, the accuracy of these reports cannot be independently verified.

Earlier Wednesday, Syrian opposition activists said that security forces still had armored vehicles stationed in city streets ready to act against protesters even though Arab League monitors said they had withdrawn.

Opposition groups in the cities of Idlib in the north, central Homs and Deraa in the south said the army had hidden armor in dugouts and replaced tanks with blue armored vehicles said to belong to police forces.

The deaths also come days after the Free Syria Army - a mysterious militant group that has claimed to have over 15,000 army defectors in its ranks - announced a ceasefire pending the visit of Arab League monitors to the embattled nation.

League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said in Cairo on Monday the monitors had reported back that state forces had withdrawn from residential areas. The mission was ensuring a halt to bloodshed and had secured the release of about 3,500 prisoners, he said.

"We are not seeing the release of detainees or the true removal of a military presence from the streets," said Rami Abdelrahman, head of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Click for full JPost coverage

"Army tanks have been replaced with police armored personnel carriers that still have the capability to shoot heavy weaponry."

Videos uploaded by activists on the Internet showed armored vehicles hidden behind high dirt barriers.

"Nabil Elaraby, you are in Cairo and we're in Baba Amr. Here are the tanks and there are your monitors," said one activist in a video uploaded on the Internet which showed a team of orange-vested men who appeared to be League monitors standing near an armored vehicle behind a barrier.

Related Content

Saudi Arabia
August 22, 2018
Saudi Arabia seeks death penalty for woman activist -rights groups