Thursday Nov 24, 201104:17 PM GMT
Syria frees all detained activists
Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:46AM
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Syrian President Bahsar al-Assad
Syria has reportedly released all activists that were detained in unrests over the past few days, in response to an executive order by President Bahsar al-Assad.

Syrian state TV reported the release on Thursday shortly after president's media advisor Bouthaina Shaaban announced a string of reforms in response to protests in the southern city of Daraa, AP reported.

Shortly afterwards, Syrian Human Rights League Abdul-Karim Rihawi confirmed the release of the activists.

According to Rihawi, journalist Mazen Darwish and writer Loay Hussein were among those released.

The government has categorically denied all allegations that security forces have been behind the recent deadly violence in Daraa.

Damascus has blamed the killings of several protesters on an armed gang and the state TV has shown footage of weapons and explosives seized from the gang.

However, opposition groups claim that government forces were involved in killing of some protesters in the violence.

Earlier, Shaaban had said that the Baath Party Regional Command, the country's top decision-making body, would draft a law to allow political parties and grant more freedom of the press.

The body is also planning to raise salaries for public servants by up to 30 percent, provide them with health insurance, and assess ways to fight corruption, she added.

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