Syria arrests jail-born daughter of activist: monitor

Maria Bahjar Shaabo was born in jail in 1988, while her mother was serving a four-year sentence

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The daughter of two anti-regime activists who was born in a Syrian jail 26 years ago has been arrested on her return from a brief trip abroad, AFP quoted activists as saying Tuesday.

“Maria Bahjar Shaabo was born in jail in 1988, while her mother was serving a four-year sentence for her political activism. On Sunday, Maria was arrested,” said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


Maria was detained when she tried to return to Syria from neighboring Lebanon, after visiting her mother who had been taking part in a medical conference.

“She was arrested on the Syrian side of the border by the intelligence,” AFP quoted Abdel Rahman as saying

“When she was just a year-and-a-half old, Maria’s father was able to get her out and to care for her in her mother’s absence. Her mother still had another two-and-a-half years to serve,” he told AFP, after speaking with her relatives.

“Then shortly after her mother was released, her father was arrested. He spent nearly 10 years in jail, from 1992 to 2002.”

Both of Maria’s parents are doctors who were persecuted over their alleged membership in the banned Communist Labor Party.

The party was especially active in the 1980s and 1990s, and opposed the regime of then-president Hafez al-Assad.

Hafez al-Assad was succeeded by his son Bashar in the year 2000.

Syria is notorious for its imprisonment of peaceful political activists, and human rights groups allege they have been systematically abused and tortured.

Tens of thousands of people are still held in Syria’s jails on political charges, and rights groups say they fear for their lives.

(With AFP)

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