Syrian authorities arrest leading rights defender

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 22, 2011 1:20 PM
Syrian authorities arrest leading rights defender

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syrian authorities on Tuesday arrested a leading campaigner for southern protesters demanding freedom and an end to corruption, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Loay Hussein, a political prisoner from 1984 to 1991, was taken from his home near Damascus. He had circulated a petition on the Internet for solidarity with the protesters, a statement issued by the independent rights organization said.

"His house was broken into. The door was smashed. His fate is unknown," the statement said.

(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, editing by Tim Pearce)