Ali Barazi Released from Jail: Assad Says Seven Other Seculars to Go Free

US Congressmen secure Syria pledge to free dissidents

Two visiting US Congressmen announced after talks with Syrian leaders on Sunday that they had secured a pledge that jailed dissidents would be freed and said they saw scope for progress in the peace process with Israel.

The upbeat note contrasted with that of US President George W. Bush earlier this month who ruled out direct talks with Damascus, saying: “My patience ran out on President (Bashar) al-Assad a long time ago.”

Senator Arlen Specter, a member of Bush’s Republican Party, and Congressman Patrick Kennedy, a Democrat, held talks with both Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

Kennedy said that he had secured Assad’s undertaking that seven secular dissidents in jail for criticising the Damascus regime and its policy towards neighbouring Lebanon would all be freed.

“The president said that they would be released,” Kennedy told reporters.

“(He named) Akram Bunni, Walid Bunni, Jaber Shufi, Ali Abdullah, Fidaa Horani, Mohammad Yasser Aiti and Ahmed Tohmeh. The president assured me personally that they were (to be) released.”

Syria releases activist after five-month detention
Syrian authorities released a political activist after a five-month detention, a Syrian human rights organization said Saturday.

Ali Sadek al-Barazi was released Wednesday, even though a military court had ordered his release on Nov. 11, Abdul-Karim Rihawi, head of the Syrian Human Rights League, said in a statement.


Comments (4)

Fares said:

Ya3ni Bil 3arabi Al Fasi7 Maskhara!!!

Releasing people detained less than 2 weeks ago is hardly an achievment or a victory for anyone
(they should a) no have been arrested in the first place b) released immediately c) not being bargained with with the americans.

This regime reminds me of modern day slavery (bargaining with people’s freedom) or better yet Israel (how they arrest tons of people then release few and declare that they are more concerned and more ready for peace, so the release of people who did not have to be arrested was a GOOD WILL GESTURE…hello Bashar Sharon.

Anyway nothing surprise me from Damascus the Capital of Culture (sorry Torture) and for visiting Americans ask for the freedom of prisoners who should not have been there in the first place let alone beign close to 2 years in prison (Kilo, Labwani, Bunni, Dalila and others) and for your info they are very secular as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 31st, 2007, 7:40 pm


Fares said:

I forgot happy New Year and Josh I hope that you become little more free to express your own opinion about the prisoners rather than just being the Information attache for the Syrian Government in the US.

That goes for you as well Alex (I condemn but look elsewhere in the middle east!!! I condemn but this is not Sweden, I condemn but there are more important issues! I condemn but Syria is under attack) then you are so impressed with Syria’s regional policies….

Anyway I just hope that you guys wake up one day and do the impossible for the freedom of few people who deserve it instead of justify the people who torture them.

December 31st, 2007, 7:49 pm


Honest Patriot said:

Fares, Amen to your opinions. However, I’m afraid you are likely to be tagged – like me – as emotional, unrealistic, misunderstanding of how real “amoral” politics works, and idealistic. I do know that we are the silent majority and perhaps lack real courage or are averse to risk so that the only safe outlet we feel is this forum. We can at least be thankful to Josh and Alex to make it available. Yet, I wonder about the courage of those who choose to withhold what is very likely to be their real opinion. Then again, when we look at how those who disagree with the regime are treated – should they have any linkage to the country (and our friends here do) – perhaps we have to be charitable and not too judgmental.

Conflicted HP

December 31st, 2007, 9:25 pm


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