Jailed Syrian women activists on hunger strike

A group of 10 women activists detained by Syrian authorities in a protest earlier this week have launched a hunger strike, rights groups said Saturday.

“All women jailed after the peaceful protest Wednesday outside the interior ministry have begun an open-ended hunger strike in the Duma detention centre for women,” said the Syrian League for Human Rights, an umbrella group of several rights monitors.

Small protests have erupted since March 15 in the Old City of Damascus, demanding the release of political prisoners and reforms in the country, amid a wave of popular uprisings across the Middle East.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said authorities on Thursday charged 32 activists detained during Wednesday’s rally with attacking the reputation of the state.

Facebook group The Syrian Revolution 2011, one of the motors behind an unprecedented string of protests in Syria, called for Saturday protests in Homs.

The fresh call for protests came a day after rights groups reported that security forces killed four people and wounded hundreds in a rally in the southern city of Daraa.

Demonstrations on Friday marking a “Day of Dignity” were also reported in the coastal town of Banias and in Homs

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