Last updated: 25 February, 2015

Syria court frees top opposition figure on bail: lawyer

A leading Syrian opposition figure, Louay Hussein, said he was freed on bail on Wednesday, more than three months after he was detained.

“I just left prison, I am on my way home,” Hussein told AFP in Beirut on the phone from Syria, adding that he was in good spirits.

His remarks came after his lawyer said the head of the Building the Syrian State party would be granted bail and allowed to leave Adra prison northeast of Damascus.

Michel Shammas said his client’s trial on charges including “weakening national sentiment” would begin on Tuesday.

Hussein was taken into custody in November on his way out of Syria at the border with Lebanon.

It was the second time he was detained since the uprising against President Bashar Assad erupted in March 2011. He also spent several years in jail in the 1980s.

Speaking to AFP on Wednesday, Hussein said: “I am used to this (harassment). I am in a struggle with the authorities. It’s not the first or second time for me to be detained.”

“I will definitely continue in my struggle. In fact, my activism and work will continue and become stronger,” the 55-year-old added.

His lawyer Shammas said meanwhile that Hussein had been banned from leaving Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in Britain, says 200,000 people have been detained or gone missing in the country’s notorious jails and detention centres since the start of the revolt.