Latvia applauds release of Syrian rights activist

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Latvia said Tuesday it welcomed the release of Syrian journalist and rights activist Mazen Darwish from prison.

Darwish was released from detention by the Assad regime in Syria on 10 August after more than three years in custody.

He has been subjected to travel bans, repeated imprisonment and torture but this year on May 3 was awarded the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize at a ceremony in Riga attended by his wife.

"Promoting freedom of expression and an independent, high-quality environment for the media is essential for Latvia's human rights priorities. Therefore, Latvia welcomes Mazen Darwish's contribution to the promotion of freedom of expression," a statement by the LAtvian Foreign Ministry said.

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