Prominent Syrian critic jailed

Michel Kilo was jailed for three years on charges of "weakening national feelings".

    The government of Bashar al-Assad has sought
    limits on criticism of its Lebanon policy [AP]

    Two other activists, Suleiman Shummar and Khalil Hussein, were sentenced in absentia to 10 years imprisonment on similar charges.

     

    Criticism limited

     

    Syria's government, led by Bashar al-Assad, remains sensitive to criticism of its Lebanon policy after it withdrew its troops from the country in the wake of the 2005 assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, Lebanon's former prime minister.

     

    Al-Hariri's assassination led to street protests in Lebanon and international pressure that forced Syrian forces and other security personnel to leave Lebanon after 29 years.

     

    An ongoing UN investigation into the Hariri killing has so far implicated senior Lebanese and Syrian security officials.

     

    Syria denies involvement in the assassination.

     

    Human rights activists say Syria’s current campaign to limit dissent is the most severe since al-Assad succeeded his late father, Hafez al-Assad, in 2000.

     

    Kamal Labwani, a political acitivist, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment last week on charges of contacting a foreign country and "encouraging attack against Syria."

     

    Anwar al-Bunni, a human rights lawyer, received a five-year jail term last month.

     

    Syria has been under emergency law since the Baath Party took power in a coup in 1963 and banned political opposition.

     

    Assad was nominated unanimously on Friday by the Baathist dominated parliament for a second term.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.