Israel releases Syrian detainee - report
Israeli authorities have freed early a Syrian detainee serving a 7-year jail sentence on charges of establishing connections with the Hezbollah-led opposition movement and defying Israeli occupation, media reports said Thursday.
Mohamed al-Shamaly, who was captured along with his brother by Israel in December 2003, was released on Tuesday, the Syrian news agency SANA said, its report saying he had been treated brutally.
Al-Shamaly was accused of contacting the Lebanese Hezbollah-led opposition and supplying it with security and military information. He was also charged with resisting the Israeli occupation and hiding military and security information from Israeli authorities, eported dpa.
An Israeli court sentenced al-Shamaly to a seven-year term in February 2005.
The report gave no indication why Israel released al-Shamaly before his term was over, but the move coincides with the announcements by Syria and Israel this week that they had resumped indirect talks under Turkish auspices after an eight-year break.
Some 11,500 Arab prisoners are being held in Israeli prisons, including 16 Syrians.