Rights group: Syria releases 15 activists detained this week

Syrian authorities have released 15 opposition activists who were detained earlier this week, a Syrian human rights group said Wednesday. The Syrian Human Rights Organization said in a statement sent to The Associated Press that authorities on Tuesday released 15 of 20 opposition activists who were summoned and detained earlier this week. The five others were still being held in custody, the group said. The rights organization welcomed the release of the detainees as a "positive step" and called on the authorities to free the others. The detainees were members of a group, called the "Damascus Declaration," which had held a conference on Dec. 1, the statement said.