Syrian security agents briefly detained opposition leader Riad Seif at Damascus airport on Monday and prevented him from travelling to Germany to seek treatment for cancer, opposition sources said.
Seif, who has prostate cancer, was seized together with his German wife minutes before he was due to board an Austrian Airways flight, a friend of Seif told Reuters.
They were released two hours later after the flight had departed.
"Riad had booked to do crucial tests in Germany. After their luggage was checked and the two were sitting at the boarding gate a security officer came with a black plastic bag he said they found in Riad's luggage," the friend said.
"Pelican (Seif's wife) realised it was a charade to prevent Riad from travelling."
A travel ban on Seif was officially lifted several days ago. The 60-year-old, a fierce critic of Syria's autocratic political system, was arrested for two weeks in May for marching in a pro-democracy demonstration in Damascus. He was released in 2010 after spending eight years in jail as a political prisoner.
Last Mod: 02 Ağustos 2011, 11:51