국제앰네스티는 시리아 변호사이자 인권 활동가인 헤이탐 알-말레(Haytham al-Maleh)에게 3년의 징역형이 선고된 것을 비판했다.올해 78세인 그는 4일 수도 다마스커스(Damascus)의 군사재판소에서 “국가의 사기를 저해하는 허위사실유포” 및 “민족적 감정 저해” 혐의 등으로 유죄 선고를 받았다.
시리아 당국은 정기적으로 이와 같은 애매한 혐의를 이용해 정부 비평가 및 인권 활동가를 기소하고 구금해왔다.
국제앰네스티 필립 루터 중동 및 북아프리카 부국장은 “헤이탐 알-말레는 시리아의 정치 및 인권 상황에 대한 자신의 의견을 평화적으로 제시했으므로 애초에 재판을 받을 이유가 없지만, 78세의 고령에 불공평하게 구금됐다”며 “국제앰네스티는 그를 양심수로 지목해 즉각적이고 무조건적인 석방을 위한 캠페인 을 진행할 것이다”라고 말했다.
Veteran Syrian lawyer and activist receives ‘unfair’ jail term
5 July 2010
Amnesty International has condemned the sentencing to three years in prison of veteran Syrian lawyer and human rights activist, Haytham al-Maleh.
The 78-year-old was convicted by a military court in the capital Damascus on Sunday of “conveying within Syria false news that could debilitate the morale of the nation” and “weakening national sentiment”.
Syrian authorities regularly use these vaguely worded charges to prosecute and imprison government critics and human rights activists. “As someone who did no more than peacefully express his views on the political and human rights situation in Syria, Haytham al-Maleh should not have been put on trial in the first place, let alone unfairly locked up at the age of 78,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience and we will be redoubling our campaign for his immediate and unconditional release.” The charges against Haytham al-Maleh arise from a television interview he gave in September 2009, where he criticized the lack of democracy, excessive powers wielded by security officials and official corruption in Syria. He is also believed to have been targeted for his published articles exposing human rights abuses in the country.
Haytham al-Maleh was arrested on 14 October 2009 and detained incommunicado for a week before brought to trial at Damascus’s Second Military Court, despite the fact he is a civilian.
He had been detained at ‘Adra prison and forced to share an overcrowded cell with convicted criminal prisoners. His health has deteriorated under the conditions and he now suffers from rheumatism, in addition to the diabetes and thyroid ailment he had when he entered prison. Haytham al-Maleh’s trial, at which he acted as his own defence, was marked by irregularities.
He was first brought to court on 8 April 2010 but was apparently denied access to the official case file until 15 June 2010.
Lawyers assisting his defence were reportedly denied access to him in prison and he was allowed only brief consultations with them in the courtroom itself.