World

Rights group: Prominent Syrian activist Mazen Darwish released after 3 years in prison

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, file photo, Lucie Morillon, head of research at French watchdog of Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters without Borders) holds a banner depicting Syrian human rights activist Mazen Darwish during a protest against violence in Syria, in Paris. Syrian authorities on Monday released the award-winning human rights activist after more than three years in jail in a rare goodwill gesture by President Bashar Assad's government amid intense diplomatic maneuvering to end the country’s civil war. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, file photo, Lucie Morillon, head of research at French watchdog of Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters without Borders) holds a banner depicting Syrian human rights activist Mazen Darwish during a protest against violence in Syria, in Paris. Syrian authorities on Monday released the award-winning human rights activist after more than three years in jail in a rare goodwill gesture by President Bashar Assad's government amid intense diplomatic maneuvering to end the country‚Äôs civil war. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)  (The Associated Press)

Activists say Syrian authorities have released a prominent journalist and human rights activist after more than three years' imprisonment.

Mazen Darwish was the director of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression when he was arrested in February 2012 along with two of his colleagues. The organization confirmed his release on Monday.

He was an outspoken critic of the government's crackdown on protesters that erupted in the country against President Bashar Assad's rule in March 2011.

He has been standing trial on charges of "publicizing terrorist acts."

International human rights organizations have long called on the Syrian government to release Darwish.