Syria: conviction of 79 years-old human rights lawyer signals continuing persecution of human rights defenders

The ICJ and other Human Rights groups today strongly condemned the conviction, and sentence to three years’ imprisonment, of Mr. Haytham Al-Maleh, a 79 years old prominent Syrian human rights lawyer.

This conviction was ordered on the grounds of “transferring false and exaggerated news that weaken national sentiments”, under Articles 285 and 286 of the Syrian Criminal Code. The charges arise from Mr. Al-Maleh’s interviews with the media in which he criticized, amongst other things, the continued use of the emergency laws in Syria and the ongoing control of the Syrian authorities over the judicial system.

Syria-conviction Al-Maleh-press release-2010 (full text in English, PDF)

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