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Syria

Syria frees activists

Reuters/Khaled al-Hariri

Syria has released all activists detained in recent events, a state media reported on Thursday. The directive comes after an advisor to President Bashar al-Assad announced reforms in the country in reponse to recent protests.

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Among those freed is writer Louai Hussein, who was detained earlier this week after posting an online petition demanding the right to freedom of expression, a human rights lawyer told the AFP news agency.

Amnesty International had complied a list of 93 people who had been arrested this month in several Syrian cities.

The news of the release comes hours after Buthaina Shaaban, the political and media advisor to the president, said that the ruling Baath party had agreed to consider lifting Syria's emergency law. The order has been in place since 1963.

Syria has seen mounting protests in the past week, particularly in the southern city of Daraa. Activists have demanded a string of reforms and a lifting of the emergency law.

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