Syria sends rights activist to jail

Award-winning lawyer given three-year sentence for "weakening national morale".

    Charge of 'weakening national morale' is used often by the Syrian government against political opponents

    "Regular criminals receive leniency, not Mohannad," Abdallah Khalil, Hassani's lawyer, said as the verdict was announced at the Palace of Justice.

    Hassani last month received the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, named after the first head of Amnesty International, for his work in defending Syrian political prisoners and the rule of law.

    As the verdict was announced, the packed courtroom erupted in standing ovation in support of Hassani, who was in a cage with suspects who were awaiting sentencing for public indecency and armed robbery.

    Many of those who applauded were former political prisoners who spent long terms for "weakening national morale".

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.