Syria releases 14 women detainees in hostage exchange deal
Abbas Hammoud, one of the nine Lebanese pilgrims held hostage in Syria for 17 months, is welcomed by his mother Mayla Aldurr upon his arrival at his home in the coastal city of Tyre in south Lebanon on October 20, 2013. On Wednesday, an activist announced that the Syrian authorities had released 14 women detained in the country as part of a hostage exchange deal. (AFP)
The Syrian government have released 14 women who were being held in the war-torn country as part of a weekend hostage exchange, a prominent human rights activist announced Wednesday.
The release of scores of female detainees held in regime jails was a crucial component in the deal brokered by Turkey, Qatar and Lebanon, Agence France Presse reported.
“Fourteen of the women whose names were on the list” were freed late Tuesday, activist Sema Nassar told AFP. “For their own safety, they will have to leave the country.”
Among those released was a cancer patient who has been held hostage twice before and whose husband was killed in the Syrian conflict, Nassar added, AFP reported.
“Another 128 women whose names were on the list have yet to be set free,” the activist told AFP.
As of yet, there has been no official comment from Damascus on the female detainees.
Tens of thousands of people are being detained by the Syrian regime, many of them without trial, according to activists. Rights groups say torture and ill-treatment are systematic in Syria's jails, AFP said.
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