Syria charges hundreds with 'degrading the state'

By REUTERS
May 4, 2011 04:22

AMMAN - Hundreds of ordinary Syrians have been charged with "degrading the prestige of the state," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, in President Bashar Assad's drive to crush protests against his autocratic rule.

The charge, which carries a 3-year prison sentence, was lodged on Tuesday against hundreds of people detained in the last few days, particularly in the run-up to Friday prayers, which have seen increasingly large pro-democracy demonstrations.

"Mass arrests are continuing across Syria in another violation of human rights and international conventions," said Observatory director Rami Abdelrahman.


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