Conflict & Justice

Syria 'releases 755 people' detained in uprising, state TV says


A picture taken on November 24, 2011 shows a torn Syrian flag fluttering on top of a building in the flashpoint city of Homs. Eighteen members of Syria's security forces and two deserters were killed in clashes the same day, mainly in the flashpoint province of Homs, where at least 13 civilians also died, Syrian activists said.



Syria has released 755 people detained during the uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, according to a report on Syrian state TV.

The state TV news report said the freed prisoners had been involved "in recent incidents" but "did not have Syrian blood on their hands," the BBC said, citing the report

The United Nations estimates that more than 14,000 people are in detention and 5,000 have been killed as a result of the state's crackdown since March. Human rights activists believe as many as 40,000 people are being held.

Under an Arab League peace plan, all detained protesters should be freed. Arab League monitors are currently visiting Syria.

More from GlobalPost: Syria: Tanks pull back as Arab League monitors arrive in Homs

Last month, Syria said it had freed 1,180 prisoners, citing similar conditions, the BBC said.

On Tuesday, the US group Human Rights Watch accused the Syrian authorities of hiding hundreds of detainees at military sites, which Arab League observers are not permitted to visit, Reuters reported.

An advance group of 50 observers, headed by Sudanese General Mohammed al-Dabi, landed in Syria Monday to oversee an end to a crackdown on protests by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Al Jazeera reported.

Arab League monitors on Tuesday arrived in the restive city of Homs, a day after activists said at least 33 people were killed there.

Activists confirmed that armored tanks had begun withdrawing from Homs early on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reported.

More from GlobalPost: Syrian forces kill 23 with mortars and machine guns, activists claim