Syria frees 552 prisoners without 'blood on hands'
DAMASCUS - Agence France-Presse
Syrian mourners shout slogans as they hold pictures of President Bashar al-Assad during the mass funeral of 44 people killed in twin suicide bombings which targeted intelligence agency compounds at the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus on December 24, 2011. AFP PhotoSyria on Thursday released 552 people who were detained over their involvement in political unrest and who have "no blood on their hands," the official SANA news agency reported.
The news agency said that "552 prisoners involved in the latest events in Syria and who have no blood on their hands were released." "The released persons are not involved in terrorist bloody acts of killings and explosions against Syrians," it added.
Releasing prisoners is one of the key conditions of an Arab League roadmap approved by Syria in November to end the country's crisis. The accord also calls for an end to repression of pro-democracy protests.
Last week, state television reported that the authorities released 755 prisoners from jail, as Arab League observers deployed in anti-regime protest hubs to implement the peace roadmap.
SANA said that 2,645 prisoners were also released in November.
Rights groups and the United Nations estimate that several thousand people have been arrested since anti-regime protests erupted in mid-March, while the UN puts the death toll at more than 5,000.