- Title: Canadian man held in Syria is freed in Beirut
- Date: 9th August 2019
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (AUGUST 9, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** CANADIAN CITIZEN, KRISTIAN LEE BAXTER, RELEASED FROM DETENTION IN SYRIA, APPEARING AT NEWS CONFERENCE WITH LEBANON'S SECURITY CHIEF, MAJOR GENERAL ABBAS IBRAHIM BAXTER DURING THE NEWS CONFERENCE LEBANESE AND GENERAL SECURITY FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (English) RELEASED CANADIAN CITIZEN, KRISTIAN LEE BAXTER, SAYING: "I would just like to thank the Canadian embassy for helping me get out." (BAXTER BREAKING DOWN IN TEARS) "I would like to thank the Lebanese." IBRAHIM SAYING (English): "You're welcome" "For helping get me free, I thought I'd be there forever. Honestly, I didn't know if anyone knew if I was alive." LEBANESE AND CANADIAN OFFICIALS SEATED AHEAD OF NEWS CONFERENCE IBRAHIM AND CANADIAN AMBASSADOR TO LEBANON, EMMANUELLE LAMOUREUX SEATED (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN AMBASSADOR TO LEBANON, EMMANUELLE LAMOUREUX, SAYING: "Due to privacy, you know, privacy laws in Canada, I am not able to comment on specifics of the case. If others want to comment they can, I can't but as a Canadian officer I won't be able to comment on this." GENERAL SECURITY EMBLEM IBRAHIM SHAKING HANDS WITH BAXTER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANON'S SECURITY CHIEF, MAJOR GENERAL ABBAS IBRAHIM, SAYING: "He has been detained in Syria since last year for reasons related to breaking Syrian laws. What we did was to reduce his detention time and as you can see, he is on his way to return to Canada. Again, I would like to thank the Syrian government for responding and responding quickly with us." BAXTER AND LAMOUREUX WALKING AWAY AFTER END OF NEWS CONFERENCE BAXTER CRYING AS HE WALKS OUT
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2019 13:02
- Keywords: Canada citizen Syria government Kristian Lee Baxter detainee released Canadian Ambassador Emmanuelle Lamoureux Lebanese security chief Abbas Ibrahim
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001ARHYGCN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A Canadian citizen held in Syria since last year was released in Lebanon on Friday (August 9) and broke down in tears at a news conference, saying he thought he would be held forever.
Kristian Lee Baxter, who was detained in Syria last year, appeared alongside Lebanese security chief Abbas Ibrahim, who last month mediated the release of U.S. citizen Sam Goodwin from Syria, and Canadian Ambassador Emmanuelle Lamoureux.
Ibrahim said Baxter had been detained "for reasons related to breaking Syrian law." Lamoureux thanked Ibrahim but said she could not give any details about the case.
It was unclear what Baxter was doing in Syria at the time of his detention.
Several Western citizens have been held in Syria since the civil war began there in 2011, including some by jihadist groups such as Islamic State.
The United States has said it believes U.S. journalist Austin Tice, who has been held in Syria since 2012, is alive and Washington has sought the help of the Syrian government's ally Russia to free him.
Last year the family of another American, Majd Kamalmaz, told the New York Times that he had disappeared at a government checkpoint in Damascus in 2017.
(Production: Imad Creidi, Yara Abi Nader)
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