Germany demands release of Syrian rights activist Saif
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier calls on Syria to release detained human rights campaigner Riad Saif.
29th January 2008
Berlin (dpa) - Saif, a former member of parliament, was arrested at his home in Damascus on Monday evening and taken to an undisclosed destination.
"The arrest of Riad Saif is unacceptable," Steinmeier said in a statement released in Berlin. "I demand Syrian authorities free him immediately."
The German minister said Saif had worked courageously to strengthen the democratic structures in his native country.
"It is unacceptable that those who use peaceful means to campaign for political reforms, justice and human rights in Syria are deprived of their freedom," he said.
Reports from the Syrian capital said Saif was the latest human rights activist to be detained as a part of a crackdown on dissidents.