France condemns violence against protesters in Syria
France on Thursday condemned violence against protesters in the Syrian capital Damascus reportedly carried out by plainclothes police and called for all those arrested to be released.
"France condemns the violence carried out against demonstrators and the arrests that followed," a foreign ministry spokesman said following Wednesday's protest calling for political prisoners to be freed.
"France calls on the Syrian authorities to free everyone detained for having taken part in demonstrations or because of their opinion or their actions in support of human rights."
More than two dozen protesters were arrested in Damascus on a second day of rare protests that are banned under Syria's emergency laws in place since 1963.
Dozens of relatives of political prisoners demonstrated to demand their release, a day after some 200 people took to the streets calling for liberty and political freedoms.
Amnesty International said plainclothes security agents beat up some protesters and arrested at least 30 people.
Women, children and elderly people were among those beaten, according to Amnesty.
© 2011 AFP