North Vancouver journalist Dorothy Parvaz free from Syrian custody

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      North Vancouver journalist Dorothy Parvaz is free from Syrian custody and on her way to British Columbia, Al Jazeera English reports.

      The AJE correspondent was detained at Damascus International Airport on Friday, April 29, 2011. During her time in custody, Syrian officials released no information on Parvaz’s status.

      Parvaz was attempting to enter Syria to cover pro-democracy demonstrations similar to those taking place in many countries across North Africa and the Middle East since protests erupted in Tunisia on December 17, 2010.

      After 19 days in confinement, Parvaz was handed over to Iranian officials and then transferred to Doha, Qatar.

      A May 18 AJE report quotes a spokesperson stating, "I'm delighted to let you know that Dorothy Parvaz has been released and is safe and well and back with us in Doha. She has been in contact with her family, and we are with her now to find out more about her ordeal over the last nineteen days."

      On Facebook, Parvaz’s fiancé posted the message, “She is safe in Doha and will be coming to Vancouver BC soon. We can't wait to see her.”

      Parvaz obtained her bachelor’s degree at the University of British Columbia. She is of Iranian decent and in addition to being a Canadian citizen, holds American and Iranian passports.

      AJE’s report describes Parvaz as an "experienced journalist" who has worked with the news orginaztion since 2010.

      According to a May 18 BBC News report, Syrian authorities have killed as many as 700 civilians since unrest in the country began. Thousands more pro-democracy advocates are believed to have been arrested and remain in custody.

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