Syria frees dissident economist after nearly 7 years in jail

Syria has released a well-known dissident after nearly seven years in jail, Muhannad al-Hassani, the head of Syria's National Organization for Human Rights, told The Associated Press Thursday. Another activist, Ammar Qurabi, told AP that Dalila was in good health. They did not comment on the reason he was freed early, nearly seven years into a 10-year sentence, but his release came after more than two dozen Syrian and Arab human rights groups urged Syria to free Dalila, who they said was in ailing health. Dalila, 68, was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to change the Syrian constitution, inciting armed rebellion and spreading false information.