Syrian authorities release human rights activist after a 4-day detention

Syrian authorities have released a rights activist connected to a well-known pro-democracy group after a four-day detention, a local human rights organization said Sunday. US President George W. Bush recently criticized Syria for detaining members of the so-called "Damascus Declaration" group, including Rashed Sattouf, and called for their release. Authorities released Sattouf on Saturday, four days after he was arrested in the northern city of Raqqa, the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. Syria cracked down on the Damascus Declaration group, arresting nine members, after it held a December meeting that brought together opposition groups and activists calling for democratic reform. Sattouf did not attend the December meeting, according to the rights group, and his release reduced the number being held to eight.