Middle East

Syria opposition: brother of peace talks aide arrested

Men carry a Syrian opposition flag as they march during an anti-government protest in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr February 20, 2014. (REUTERS/Hosam Katan)

BEIRUT: The brother of a member of Syria's opposition delegation to the failed Geneva II peace talks was arrested Friday at a security checkpoint in Damascus, an opposition source told AFP.

"The Syrian authorities have arrested Mahmud Sabra, the 34-year-old brother of lawyer Mohammed Sabra, a member of the opposition delegation to the Geneva talks," said the source, who asked not to be identified.

"He was detained at a security services checkpoint in the Sayyida Zeinab area. He used to live in Jaramana (southeast of Damascus) but has been in hiding for a long time," the source said.

"We are convinced he was arrested as a way of exerting pressure on Mohammed Sabra, the delegation's legal adviser."

Britain-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says many thousands of people have been held without charge since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime began in March 2011.

A second round of peace talks in Switzerland between Syrian regime representatives and the opposition, dubbed Geneva II, ended on February 15 without result and with no date set for more negotiations.





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