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Syrian court sentences political activist for insulting regime

Syrian court sentences political activist for insulting regime

A Syrian criminal court on Monday convicted a political activist of insulting the regime and contacting "hostile parties," and sentenced him to three years in prison, a human rights group said.
Faiq al-Mir's sentence, handed down by Judge Mohieddine Halaq, was then commuted to one and a half years in jail, the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, or NOHR, said in a statement.
A member of the outlawed Syrian Democratic People Party, al-Mir was arrested in December 2006 after visiting Lebanon to offer condolences to the family of assassinated Lebanese politician George Hawi, a critic of Syria's role in the neighboring country.
The charges against al-Mir also included spreading false information that can weaken national feelings, fomenting riots, showing overt hostility to the state's policy and contacting hostile parties, including a coalition of anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians.
There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government, which rarely comments on the detention and prosecution of suspects wanted in political or security-related cases.
Al-Mir will likely be released within a month, as the time he already has spent in jail counts in the sentence against him, NOHR said. The group condemned the verdict as "outrageous," and said it amounted to infringement of individual freedoms.
Previously, al-Mir had spent just over 10 years in jail as a political detainee between 1989-1999.
Since taking office in 2000, Syrian President Bashar Assad has released hundreds of political prisoners, but also clamped down on pro-democracy activists, showing there are limits to the dissent he is willing to tolerate.


Updated : 2021-05-12 11:16 GMT+08:00