CAIRO – Agencia Efe’s correspondent in Syria, George Baghdadi, was freed Tuesday, four days after he was arrested while covering political protests in the port city of Latakia.
He had been held incommunicado since Friday.
Baghdadi, a Syrian national who collaborates with other international media in addition to Spain’s Efe, declined to comment on whether he had suffered physical or psychological violence while under arrest.
Nonetheless, he expressed hope that the Damascus regime will take note of his case and will protect both his activities and those of other journalists who have suffered detentions and have been under extreme pressure since political protests broke out in Syria in mid-March.
More than 100 people, according to human rights groups, have died during these demonstrations. The opposition blames security forces for many of these deaths.
At dawn Tuesday, when Baghdadi was released, the head of Latakia’s security forces invited him to a coffee and apologized for the “incorrect, mistaken arrest and the mistreatment” that he received, the correspondent told Efe.
The security chief attributed Baghdadi’s arrest to an “unusual” level of confusion. EFE