Rights Group: Syria Sentences Blogger to 5 Years

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A human rights group says a Syrian security court has sentenced a female blogger to five years in prison.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday that the court found 19-year-old student Tal al-Mallouhi guilty of “divulging information to a foreign country.”


Authorities arrested Mallouhi in 2009, accusing her of allegedly spying for the United States. They also confiscated her computer.

On Saturday, U.S. officials called the accusations “baseless” and asked Syria to immediately release the young blogger.

Mallouhi operated a blog known for poetry and social commentary that focused on the plight of the Palestinian people. Syrian authorities never have clearly linked Mallouhi’s arrest to her blog.