First Published: 2007-04-24

Syria rights activist jailed for five years

Anwar Bunni sentenced to five years in prison for spreading false information.


Middle East Online

Syria cracks down on dissidents

DAMASCUS - Syrian human rights activist Anwar Bunni was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison on charges of "spreading false information", his lawyer said.

Khalil Maatuk said he was sentenced in a Damascus criminal court.

Bunni, himself a lawyer, was arrested in the Syrian capital in May 2006 after signing an appeal for radical reform in relations between Syria and neighbouring Lebanon.

Syria's state prosecutor said in February that Bunni would be prosecuted for spreading false information.

Bunni was the director of a legal rights centre in Syria financed partly by the European Union and established by a Belgian non-governmental organisation. The centre was closed down after his arrest.

In a statement to the court in January, Bunni said he was being judged for his opinions and had in no way violated the Syrian constitution or the law.

The "Beirut-Damascus Declaration" published in the Lebanese capital in May 2006 was signed by nearly 300 Syrian and Lebanese intellectuals.

In a crackdown that followed in Syria, Bunni was arrested along with nine others, including journalist and writer Michel Kilo and communist activist Mahmud Issa.

On March 27, Kilo and Issa were charged in court with spreading false information and sowing discord, and they also face possible jail terms of at least three years.


France, US clash with Iran over changing nuclear accord

Syria donors fall short of UN target without US aid

Same family names in Lebanon election

Turkey jails opposition daily journalists

Iraq’s ex-football stars from sports to politics

UK ‘seeking information’ over British-Iranian’s arrest

Macron says Trump may pull out of Iran nuclear deal

Turkey opposition journalists demand acquittal in terror trial

UN says Syria blocking humanitarian aid to Douma

OPCW experts visit second site of alleged Douma gas attack

Israeli policeman gets 9 months jail for killing Palestinian

US court rules for Arab Bank in precedent-setting case

Lebanese candidates pay hefty price for media coverage

Madani’s resignation sheds light on Iranian power play

Kuwait expels Filipino ambassador over treatment of workers

Syria aid donations for 2018 fall short of amount hoped

Growing anti-war sentiment in the US Congress could spell trouble for Trump

Liverpool’s Salah wins Israeli defence minister’s plaudits

Body of assassinated Palestinian driven through Malaysian capital

'Gap in perceptions' threatens wider Middle East war

UNESCO picks Morocco for project on prevention of violent extremism

Syrian regime retakes region near Damascus from rebels

Mogherini: Iran deal 'needs to be preserved'

Syria rebels prepare as Assad sets sights on next target

Iran's Rouhani questions 'right' to seek new nuclear deal

Iraq's Shiites split ahead of crucial vote

EU to Russia, Iran: Bring Syria to peace talks

Trump, Macron call for 'new' nuclear deal with Iran

Saudi Arabia claims killing of Yemen rebel leader

Syria's Idlib 'big new challenge' for international community

UNRWA chief says Palestinian aid $200 million short since Trump cuts

Bad memories resurface at Raqa’s mass grave

Turkey newspaper chief slams journalist terror trial

Setback for Yemen rebels after strike takes out leader

Saudi issues Islamic sukuk sale to finance deficit

Yarmuk, an epicentre of Syria's bloody conflict

Egypt’s Eurobond succeeds but risks remain

Egypt former anti-corruption chief gets five years jail

Philippines apologises to Kuwait over 'maid rescues'

Iran urges EU not to pay Trump ‘ransom’ over nuclear deal

UAE to finance project to rebuild Mosul's Grand al-Nuri Mosque

EU, UN begin major conference for Syria aid

New tensions rise between old rivals Turkey and Greece

Rouhani warns Trump against betraying nuclear deal

10 killed in Toronto “deliberate” van attack