Youssef Abdelke, Syrian artist and anti-regime activist Damascus – Arab Today Syrian artist Youssef Abdelke has been released after being held for five weeks by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Abdelke’s wife Hala Alabdalla, a prominent Syrian film-maker, announced the release of her husband on her Facebook page on Thursday, thanking everyone who supported the artist during his imprisonment. Alabdalla, who is in France, told the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star that she had spoken briefly to her husband, who told her he had been freed. “Yes, it is true,” she said. “He said it has been very hard, but that he’s OK,” she added. “We don’t have many details, but we’re very happy.Until now we have had no real news, just rumours.” The director said she hoped her husband’s release would raise awareness about other political detainees. “We hope all the political prisoners will be free, because nobody should be in prison for asking for liberty,” she said. Abdelke, whose work is displayed in museums around the world, was arrested at a security checkpoint in the western port city of Tartus, along with two fellow members of the Communist Labour Party. The 62-year-old artist is an outspoken critic of the Syrian regime and a member of the internal opposition National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB). He has been jailed in the past by the Syrian authorities. Abdelke\'s friends and family rallied around his wife Hala and launched a Facebook campaign calling for his release from jail. \"His detention may be a small thing when compared to the bloody violence and destruction [in Syria] but it\'s still unacceptable,\" Alabdalla told news agencies after his arrest.