Saturday, December 31, 2011

Syria accused of reneging on Arab League pledge to release 700 prisoners, according to Human Rights Groups

The government had promised to release more than 700 detainees from jails last week as part of a peace plan drawn up by the Arab League.

Under the plan monitors have also been allowed to observe confrontations on Syria's streets between protesters and security forces. More than 5,000 people have died since massive demonstrations against the regime started in March, including large numbers of protesters killed by security forces.

Thousands are also believed to have been detained, and the names of several hundred of them were given to the government with a request to let them out.

But despite agreeing, only 13 have been released, according to Avaaz, an organisation which monitors Syria through a network of campaigners operating outside the clutches of the notorious secret police.

"Our information is that only 13 named prisoners have been released," said spokesman Will Davies. Read More