Syria: Human rights activist jailed for three years

Lawyer and human rights activist Muhannad al-Hassani was sentenced to three years in prison by the Damascus Criminal Court on Wednesday 23 June. Having publicly called for the immediate release of political prisoners and condemned their unfair trials, al-Hassani was convicted of “weakening national sentiment” and “conveying within Syria false news that could debilitate the morale of the nation”. In May 2010, al-Hassani was the winner of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award in recognition of his human rights work. An appeal is being considered.