With the thawing of relations with the US, the Assad apartheid government continues to oppress its people.

Syrian authorities have arrested a leading human rights lawyer after he was called for interrogation at a security branch, human rights activists said Thursday.

Mohannad al-Hussani, who has been handling high profile political cases, was summoned Tuesday to State Security, one of a multitude of intelligence agencies in the Arab country, which has been ruled by the Baath Party since it took power in a 1963 coup.

Hussani has not been heard from him since and no charges have been lodged against him, his friends said. There was no comment from the Syrian authorities.

"Hussani is a national figure. His arrest is another black mark on Syria's human rights record," al-Rased, a Kurdish human rights group, said in a statement.

Arbitrary arrests in Syria are common, international human rights organization say, and it is common for detainees to remain for months in jail, or longer, before facing any charges.



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