Syria frees US-Egyptian man held at protests

Father claims Mohammed Bakr Radwan, held since March 25 clashes, was released following a presidential pardon.

    Radwan with a birdshot pellet injury on January 29, during the protests in Egypt [Hossam el-Hamalawy]

    Syrian authorities have released Mohammed Bakr Radwan, an Egyptian-American accused of selling photos and videos of events in Syria and visiting Israel "in secret".

    Following his release on Friday, Radwan spoke to Egyptian channel ONtv and said:"Everything is ok, the Egyptian embassy did a great job."

    His father also spoke to the Egyptian channel and said: "I want to thank Shukri Ismail, the Egyptian ambassador to Syria, for his efforts to secure Mohammed's release, I would also like to thank president Bashar al-Assad, because he personally issued the presidential pardon to release my son."

    Radwan, 32,  was among those arrested on 25 March by Syrian authorities during pro- and anti-government clashes in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.

    He was shown on Syrian state television making what the government called "preliminary confessions" while an article from the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said he had confessed to receiving money from abroad in exchange for sending photos and videos of Syria.

    No official charges were made against Radwan.

    His arrest came amid unprecedented nationwide protests against the government of al-Assad, who has ruled Syria since 2000 after succeeding his father, Hafez, who served as president for 29 years.

    The Egyptian foreign ministry confirmed that Radwan will be arriving in Egypt tomorrow.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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