12 Syrian dissidents appear in court

A human rights group says that 12 jailed Syrian dissidents on trial for acting against the state briefly appeared in court in Damascus to hear charges against them. The 12 are members of a coalition of pro-democracy groups known as the "Damascus Declaration." They were arrested in the months following a coalition meeting last December. Their trial opened last month. The dissidents have pleaded not guilty to the charges that include spreading false information, weakening national morale and joining a secret grouping. The National Organization for Human Rights in Syria said that a large number of human rights activists and diplomats from Western countries attended Tuesday's hearing. The trial was then adjourned until Sept. 24.