Syria frees political prisoners

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The Independent Online
Syria's President Hafez Assad has freed five of the world's longest-held political prisoners, imprisoned for more than two decades, diplomatic sources said AP reports from Nicosia.

The men were identified as Abdul-Hamid Mukdad, a former member of the ruling Baath Party's National Command; Mohammed Said Taleb, former agriculture minister; Haditha Murad, former commander of the Baath's Popular Army; Marwan Habash, a senior Baathist and former industry minister; and Kamel Hussein, former ambassador to France.