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US Demands Release Of Syria-based NGO Director, Staff

The United States has demanded the immediate release of Mazen Darwish, other NGO workers, and thousands more who have been detained arbitrarily in Syria.

Mazen Darwish, Director of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), its seven administrators and staff were arrested by Syrian forces without warrant and without cause on Tuesday.

The U.N. Economic and Social Council granted special consultative status to SCM seven months ago. A staunch defender of human rights, SCM was the first Syria-based NGO ever to be welcomed through the doors of the United Nations. It was honored for championing freedom of expression and advancing political solutions over violence as a means to end the suffering of the Syrian people.

Condemning the imprisonment of Darwish and the SCM staff, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan E. Rice said in a statement that their detention "lays bare the hypocrisy of the Syrian government, which claims to want dialogue with the political opposition at the same time as Assad's thugs arrest and kill those who dare oppose it."

by RTT Staff Writer

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