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Syria: Hopes of human rights reform set back

, Index number: MDE 24/061/2004

Three years ago, the "Damascus Spring", a short-lived period of openness to public debate and calls for reform in Syria, was effectively crushed. Leading participants in the emerging civil society movement were arrested and imprisoned. Two of these civil society activists -- Kamal al-Labwani and Habib Saleh -- were released last week on completion of their three-year prison sentences, but six are now entering their fourth year in 'Adra Prison, 15 kilometres north-east of the Syrian capital.

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