Canadian Prisoner Released from Syrian Prison after Mediation
A Canadian citizen who was held in a Syrian prison since 2018 has been freed following mediation overseen by the Lebanese government.
The prisoner, Kristian Lee Baxter, stated that he had no idea if people even knew he was still alive during his imprisonment. Reporters described him as “emotional and at times jittery” during the press conference that took place after his release in Beirut.
Baxter’s release was mediated by a Lebanese general. According to the general, Baxter will return home to Canada. The specific details of his capture and imprisonment were not available following the mediation, but according to reports from the Canadian media during the ordeal, Baxter was detained in a war-torn region of Syria. He had been traveling on his own “seeking an adventure,” but no further details were given.
Baxter’s statement at the press conference was brief. He shared his thanks to the Canadian embassy and the Lebanese and stated, “I thought I would be there forever, honestly.”
This was the second time intervened and mediated the release of a prisoner from Syria in only a few months. In July, American traveler Sam Goodwin was released after two months when the same Lebanese general intervened in the matter. Like Baxter, the specific circumstances of Goodwin’s detention were also unknown.
Prisons in Syria are filled with government opponents that have been put into detention during the nine year civil war in the country. Rebels have been responsible for a wave of kidnappings and hold people for ransom. Islamic State militants often behead foreign captives to support their terror propaganda. The exact number of westerners and foreign nationals held in Syria is unknown.