Syria frees 48 Kurds, hoping to ease grievances

BEIRUT - Syria has released 48 ethnic Kurds, a rights group said, in the latest move by President Bashar al-Assad to try to ease resentment over nearly five decades of authoritarian Baathist rule.
Syria's ruling hierarchy, packed with minority Alawites, has tolerated no dissent and has used emergency laws to justify arbitrary arrests, including those of other minorities such as Kurds who say they are discriminated against.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the 48 Kurds were released on Tuesday, more than a year after they were arrested in the eastern city of Raqqa.
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