Assad Regime Cracks Down on Non-Violent Opposition

Left-wing painter detained


(Reuters)—Syrian government forces have detained a dissident left-wing painter in a new wave of arrests of non-violent critics of President Bashar al-Assad, opposition groups said on Friday.

Youssef Abdelki, 62, arrested in the port city of Tartous on Thursday, has long criticized Assad and his late father, Hafez al-Assad, who ruled Syria for 30 years until his death in 2000.

Two prominent members of a banned communist party, the Workers' Party, Tawfiq Amran and Adnan Abbas, were arrested along with Abdelki and taken to an undisclosed location, the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. All three had served previous jail terms for political dissent.