Dutch student deported from Syria

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The Syrian authorities have declared Dutch student Maarten Zeegers persona non grata and deported him to Turkey.

The student was studying Islamic law in the capital Damascus and had been writing regular reports on the unrest in the country for Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad since a number of months.

His name was not used in the newspaper as the Syrian authorities are not allowing independent foreign reporters to work in the country.

Mr Zeegers was arrested and put in handcuffs when he tried to extend his visa writes NRC Handelsblad. The authorities gave no reason for his arrest, although they did refer to him as "that journalist".

The Dutchman was kept in a cellar for a number of hours, but he says he was not mistreated.  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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