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Activist, lawyer's daughter arrested in Syria

18 February 2014, 20:32

Damascus - A prominent human rights activist and the daughter of a well-known lawyer have both been arrested near the Syrian capital Damascus, human rights lawyer Anwar Bunni told AFP on Tuesday.

"Jihan Amin and Ranim al-Maatouq were arrested yesterday night at their respective homes in Sahnaya by the military security services," said Bunni, referring to an area 15km south of the capital.

He said it was unclear why the two women had been arrested.

Amin, aged 40, is a member of Bunni's Centre for Legal Research and Studies, and has defended many political prisoners for more than a decade.

Ranim al-Maatouq, aged 24, is a university student and the daughter of human rights lawyer Khalil al-Maatouq, who was arrested by Syrian authorities in October 2012.

Bunni said two men were also arrested during the same security services raid in the neighbourhood, but there were no immediate details on them.

He called on Syrian authorities to "free all political prisoners."

There has been no information on the fate of Khalil al-Maatouq, or his colleague Mohamed Zaza who was arrested with him, since they were detained last year.

Tens of thousands of people have been arrested by Syrian authorities since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011.

Rights groups say the regime regularly tortures detainees and carries out summary executions in prisons.



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