In reaction to the conviction of Muhannad Al-Hassani, the Syrian human rights defender and lawyer, Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning issued the following statement today (28 June):
“I was shocked to learn of the conviction of Muhannad Al-Hassani. Mr Al-Hassani has long worked with great personal courage to ensure that human rights are respected in his country.
I call upon the Syrian Government to honour its international obligations, in particular the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
Muhannad Al-Hassani has defended many Syrian human rights activists in court. In May 2010, he was awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders for his work.
Muhannad Al-Hassani was arrested on 28 July 2009 and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by a court in Damascus on 23 June 2010. In common with other Syrian human rights defenders in similar cases, he was accused, among other things, of disseminating false information which had weakened national morale and sentiment as well as damaging Syria’s standing abroad.