Rights groups: Syrian political detainee begins hunger strike over prison conditions

DAMASCUS, Syria — Human rights groups say a Syrian political prisoner has started a hunger strike to protest conditions of her detention.

Nine Syrian rights groups said in a statement Tuesday that Touhama Maarouf started the hunger strike Friday and is also demanding transfer to the women’s prison.

Maarouf, who is trained as a dentist, was arrested in the northern city of Aleppo in July on charges of affiliation to the outlawed Communist Labor Party. She was first arrested in 1992 on the same charge and was released a year later without being convicted.

The rights groups say she is suffering “inhumane practices” at the Central Damascus Prison. They did not elaborate.

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