Syria: Three-Year Sentence for Blogger Tariq Baiasi

Syria: Three-Year Sentence for Blogger Tariq Baiasi:

On Sunday 11-5-2008 the State Security Court in Damascus stated its verdict on the Syrian blogger Tariq Baiasi who was held in detention since 7-7-2007. Tariq was detained for leaving a comment on websites disfavored by the Syrian government. Free Tariq Campaign condemned the State’s verdict and asks for freedom to the Syrian blogger:

The State Security Court in Damascus has sentenced Tariq to three years after lessening it from six years to three years (originally, Tariq received three years for each of the following charges):

1- Dwindling the national feeling.

2-Weakening the national ethos.

The militarily security arrested Tariq on 7-7-2007 for leaving a comment on websites considered ‘suspicious’ by the Syrian government.

Since Tariq’s family and their lawyer were reluctant to comment on the State’s verdict, we wish that the human rights’ NGOs uncover details about this news.

Meanwhile, we put in your hands the following report published on 23-2-2008 by Syrian Human Rights Organization (Sawasiya) which briefly talks about Tariq’s case:

On 18-2-2008 the Supreme State Security Court had interrogated Tariq Biasi (1984) who was arrested on 7-7-2007 after charging him with ‘dwindling the national feeling’ and ‘weakening the national ethos’ based on Articles 286-285.

Tariq who was arrested because of a comment left on websites considered ‘suspicious’ by the Syrian government, denied leaving the comment and stated that he saw it only after his arrest. He also asserted that the land line, through which the website was accessed, is not his but for a doctor (there are seven branches for this line and while all of them are used, one of them is used for an internet café).

Tariq explained that he works in computer business and he has nothing to do with politics or anything of the like. His trial was adjourned till 17-3-2008 for the Attorney General to state its demands.

The Syrian bloggers continue to call for freedom to fellow blogger Tariq Baiassi:

This harsh sentence for a merely criticism written in a website, is only an enlightening illustration of the injustice and persecution against any attempt to express the opinion that the Constitution guarantees to all people. (…)
This sentence will not cancel the freedom of expression or shut up the voices demanding their rights guaranteed by the constitution. And Tariq will remain the flame that will not be extinguished and he will still the guide for all the bloggers.

As for the bloggers, they will exercise the freedom that does not hurt anyone, whatever the consequences are!

You can find the Free Tariq campaign by clicking here for an English version, and here for the Arabic.

(Via Global Voices Advocacy.)

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